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Carol Burnett Powers 'Moon Over Buffalo'

It makes sense that Carol Burnett would return to Broadway in something as comfortably fitting as ''Moon Over Buffalo.'' Ken Ludwig's comedy about a married couple of theatrical performers, sort of second-tier Lunts, plays like nothing so much as an extended skit from the great comedienne's former television show. The show co-stars Philip Bosco, but it could just as easily have been Harvey Korman.

The play, set in 1953, revolves around George and Charlotte Hay's chaotic response to the news that film director Frank Capra will be arriving shortly to attend a matinee performance. It seems that Ronald Colman, the star of the director's film, has broken his legs, and Capra is coming to scout George as a possible replacement. The only problem is that George is on a drunken bender, caused by his notion that Charlotte was leaving him over his affair with a young ingenue.

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Most of the second half of the play is concerned with the company's farcical attempts to sober George up in time to go on for the matinee of ''Cyrano de Bergerac'' or ''Private Lives.'' Nobody quite knows which.

It's the two stars who provide the fun in this ramshackle comedy, since Ludwig, who has previously written ''Lend Me a Tenor'' and the book for the musical ''Crazy For You,'' provides a strictly mechanical formula, complete with enough miscommunications and slamming doors to populate a dozen French farces.

The jokes, although they have the proper comic rhythms and inflections, don't have any real wit unless you consider the observation that Buffalo is ''Scranton without the charm'' to be amusing. But Burnett, and particularly Bosco, fuel the proceedings with enough comic brio and physical shtick to more than satisfy the tourist crowd.

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