By Marc Camoletti, translated by Beverly Cross & Francis Evans
Directed by Andrew K. McGill
Review by Annette Skaggs
Entire contents copyright © 2019 by Annette Skaggs. All rights reserved.
Attention passengers! Thank you for choosing Clarksville Little Theater as your carrier. As you stow your bags, put on your seatbelts, and extinguish your cigarettes sit back and enjoy the delightful comedy, Boeing Boeing.
It is 1960’s Paris and the dashing Bernard (Zac Taylor) has stumbled upon a bachelor’s dream scenario: an apartment that overlooks Paris, a good job, and three beautiful fiancées. Oui, je l’ai dit trois belles fiancées. How does he do it? By having a friend in the travel industry and juggling timetables and schedules.
Gloria (Heather Dishon) is a New York stewardess for TWA, Gabriella (Abby Braune), flies for Air Italia, and Gretchen (Kristine Renee Farley) hosts on Lufthansa. These ladies have been vetted for attributes becoming to a man. What a set-up, huh?
Bernard’s lifelong friend Robert (Zech McKenzie) comes for a visit and is intrigued by his friend’s unusual circumstance. While unsure of the validity and plausibility of Bernard’s arrangement, Robert agrees to stick around the apartment to see how it all works. As Gloria is preparing to leave she shares the good news about the new Boeing airliner that will allow her to fly in and out of Paris more often. No sooner does Gloria leave, in walks Gabriella, sharing similar news. And Gretchen? Yes, she’ll be home more often as well.
As you can well imagine this puts Bernard in a very awkward position. How will he ever get around this new and confusing timetable? Let the games begin!
Ms. Dishon was very convincing as sneaky New York City gal Gloria. While, on the whole, I enjoyed her performance, there was a certain overuse of her limbs. There was a lot of arm extension for gesturing and hands on the hip which would sometimes distract from the scene currently on stage.
Ms. Farley’s Gretchen was certainly passionate and patriotic of Germany’s culinary and cultural background. Unfortunately, her German dialect was often muddled.
This was often the case for all of the women who had a foreign accent. When using an accent, the actor has to work even harder to enunciate and project. Whole lines of dialogue were often lost because of this.
Ms. Braune’s Gabriella was fiery, suspicious and quick to temper. Just as she should be played.
Zac Taylor did very well as Bernard. He had the looks, charm, and charisma to make you believe him as a swinging 1960’s bachelor.
Bernard’s long-suffering maid, Berthe, played by Sharon Horton Becher, seemed to need a Vitamin B shot. What should have been fatigue from all of the comings and goings seemed more like malaise. A bit more “true woman of the house” strength would have made the role come alive.
Zech McKenzie’s Robert was fun and entertaining. From timid Wisconsin bumpkin to a newly engaged man, I enjoyed watching his treatment of the role.
Andrew K. McGill’s direction was pretty solid and took advantage of some of the more challenging physical comedy. It cannot be overstated that this play is a bit sexist by today’s sensibility, but McGill did a good job letting the women show their strengths. The set design had a fabulous 60’s feel.
Despite a few moments of turbulence and the need for a tweak or two, Boeing Boeing is a fun destination point.
Bravi Tutti !!
January 11, 12, 18, & 19 at 8:00 pm
January 20 at 2:00 pm
For tickets, please call the box office at 812.283.6522
Clarksville Little Theatre
301 E. Montgomery Avenue
Annette Skaggs is heavily involved as an Arts Advocate here in Louisville. She is a freelance professional opera singer who has performed throughout Europe and in St. Louis, Cincinnati, Boulder, Little Rock, Peoria, Chicago, New York and of course Louisville. Aside from her singing career, she has been a production assistant for Kentucky Opera, New York City Opera, and Northwestern University. Her knowledge and expertise have developed over the course of 25+ years’ experience in the classical arts.