By Marc Camoletti
Directed by Daniel Smith
Review by Annette Skaggs
Entire contents copyright © 2014 by Annette Skaggs. All rights reserved.
Welcome to The Alley Theatre’s production of Boeing Boeing, with a non-stop destination of lies, love and comedy. So find your seat, buckle your seatbelt and put your tray into the upright position and prepare yourself for an entertaining night of theater.
Bernard (Jake Minton) is a good-looking man in 1960’s Paris who has what many would consider an idyllic life: a good job, a fantastic flat that overlooks Paris and three beautiful fiancées. Oui, je l’ai dit trois belles fiancées. Bernard has a friend at the airport who chats up the stewardesses that fly in and handpicks them for qualities that Bernard would like and sends them his way. These three, Gretchen (Katie Dearmond), Gabriella (Jamie Shannon) and Gloria (Danielle Warren) are the crème of the crop and Bernard’s loves.
Enter Robert (Gerry Rose) a lifelong friend of Bernard who comes for a visit and is enthralled with his friend’s living and loving arrangements. In the course of a day we get to see how this balance of delicate timetables works and unravels. Suffice it to say that you have to see all of the antics to believe it.
Danielle Warren’s Gloria was very fun to watch and she played the American TWA attendant as a sly American girl with a hidden agenda very well. (I’m not going to give it away !)
Gretchen (Katie Dearmond), the passionate German stewardess for Lufthansa, certainly showed off her excitement and patriotic zeal for her country’s culinary and cultural background. One thing that I will say about her performance is that it seems that she forgot how easily the voice is carried through the small theater and her acting became uncomfortable to listen to because of the decible level. Less is more.
The Italian bird of Air Italia, Gabriella (Jamie Shannon) was fiery, discerning, suspicious, quick to temper and passionate too. Just as she should be played.
Jake Minton was well-suited to the character of Bernard. He has the looks, charm and charisma that one would expect from a swinging bachelor of the 1960’s.
Bernard’s tired maid Bertha (Sharon Beecher) was certainly exasperated by the mischief that her boss had created and she was tasked with cleaning up his mess. Ms. Beecher played weary and fed up convincingly.
Gerry Rose, I am a fan after watching you in Boeing Boeing. The comedic timing and physicality were absolutely on point from the moment you entered the flat until the closing of the show. Your Robert was played with great fervor and I enjoyed it immensely.
Bravo to Daniel Smith for your direction and taking some chances with the script and the subtleties that lie within. Another thing I will mention is that the three actresses who were working with foreign dialects, over all you did wonderfully, but at times you appeared to be trying too hard. Case in point, Gabriella sounded more Spanish than Italian. Believe me, I understand the perils of those problems and they were slight at best I assure you.
Yes, by all means you are clear for take off to enjoy a couple of hours of a fun, comedic romp. I can’t wait to see more shows at this newish gem of Main Street.
Bravo Tutti !!
July 10 – 26, 2014
The Alley Theater
633 West Main Street
Louisville, KY 40202