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Albion native is star in Buffalo theater

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 11 June 2014 at 12:00 am

Matt Mooney is a busy man in WNY show business

Provided photos – Matt Mooney portrays Joseph in “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” during performances from May 31 – June 15, 2013 at the Lancaster Opera House.

ALBION – After starring on the Albion stage in high school, Matt Mooney went to college and earned a degree in theater and liberal arts from Nazareth College in Rochester. Then he followed his dream to New York City and worked in theater for four years in The Big Apple.

He was in the original cast for “Lyle, Lyle Crocodile” that performed Off Broadway and went on tour. He appeared in Sex in the City on HBO, the movie Glitter with Mariah Carey, and another film called Strangers with Candy.

He left the big lights of the big city and returned to Western New York in 2001. He has juggled a full-time job with a busy schedule in theater.

“My whole life I’ve wanted to act and sing,” Mooney said.

He has been particularly busy in the past year, starring in many prominent roles, including his current portrayal of Marius Pontmercy in “Les Miserables” at Lancaster Opera House. The show opened last weekend and runs until June 22.

Matt Mooney, right, stars as Marius Pontmercy in Les Miserables, which will be performed at the Lancaster Opera House until June 22.

Mooney, 39, plays several demanding roles in casts each year. Besides Marius, he has recently played Jesus in “Godspell,” Joseph in “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” as well as roles in “The Plow and the Stars” about the Irish Revolution, “Plaid Tidings,” and “Bloody, Bloody Andrew Jackson.”

Mooney was honored with Artie, an award for Buffalo theater performers, last week for his work in the singing ensemble of “Plaid Tidings.”

Photo by Michael Walline – Matt Mooney, front, was part of the musical ensemble from “Plaid Tidings” that was honored last week with an “Artie” Award in Buffalo. That musical was performed in December.

“This year I was really lucky,” he said about the many shows. “Buffalo has a very diverse community of professional actors and community theaters.”

By day, Mooney works for a bank. He was a personal banker and insurance agent for a decade for Evans Bank before being promoted to the bank’s marketing coordinator about 18 months ago.

It’s a breakneck pace, up for work early and rehearsing or performing late at night. Mooney said he is thankful to be so busy.

“I don’t like to say no to shows that I love,” he said. “I get to work with amazingly talented people.”

After “Les Miserables,” Mooney gets a breather from theater for about three months. He will be back on the stage in September with the cast of “Hello Again.”

“There is a lot of theater in Buffalo,” he said. “People outside of Buffalo might be surprised but you can be busy nonstop.”