New production provides nonstop comedy
summit daily news
Most people were probably thrilled with the improved speed and comfort offered by new jets in the 1960s. But, most people probably weren’t dependent on the landing schedules of slower planes to help them juggle relationships with three international air hostesses, like the main character in the Lake Dillon Theatre Company’s new production “Boeing, Boeing.”
This classic farce features Bernard, a 1960’s Parisian playboy happily maneuvering engagements to three different flight attendants: an American, a German and an Italian. Through religiously keeping track of each woman’s flight routes and landing times – and the help of his unwilling and annoyed housekeeper Bertha – Bernard is able to convince each woman that he’s her true one and only. But when faster Boeing jets change flight times and all three ladies end up surprising Bernard on the same day, the usually suave Bernard must try to hide his secret from his attention-seeking fiances. His socially awkward friend from grade school, Robert – who happens to be visiting – and an irritated Bertha do their best to help Bernard keep his loves incognito.
Set in Bernard’s Parisian flat – complete with retro furniture and Andy Warhol prints – audience members certainly get a show as the hilarious and extreme personalities of this largely physical comedy manage to make use of every square foot provided.
“To be able to put this huge thing in this little intimate space, we knew it would be a challenge, but we knew the payoff would be huge,” said Christopher Alleman, play director and producing artistic director for the theater company, “because the audience is practically in this guy’s living room while this is happening.”
All of the actors – four of whom have graced the Dillon stage with their presence in the past – do a superb job of capturing the wild extravagances and insecurities of each character, and manage to keep the hilarity going throughout the whole show.
The comedy was originally written by French playwright Marc Camoletti and was first staged in London in 1962. A recent Broadway production of the play won it a Tony Award for best revival.
“The New York audiences just ate it up,” Alleman said.
“One of the missions of our theater is to provide a well-rounded season, so we try to provide a little bit of everything,” Alleman said. “When I read this script, I thought, ‘Oh, this fits perfectly because it is a true, true classic farce.’ I just think our audience will really, really enjoy this production.”
Alleman said the wild production will provide a departure from the seriousness of current politics.
“With the troubling times we’re in right now with what’s happening across the world and financially in the U.S., who doesn’t want to escape,” he said. “All theater can do a lot of things – educate and enlighten – but it’s an entertainment. This is one of those shows we hope can entertain people.”
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