Fasten your seatbelt, sit back and relax, and enjoy your trip back to the glory days of flying with Seattle Repertory Theater’s production of the French farce, Boeing Boeing. This last production of the season has been around the block a time or two, it was originally staged in 1962, but in a city known for its relationship with the aerospace industry, Seattle-ites embraced the retro, overlooked the camp, and enjoyed a laugh at the silliness – and it is silliness – that played out on the stage.
The plot line is agonizingly simple.
Bernard (played by Richard Nguyen Sloniker) is a suave man about town, the town being Paris, with a penchant for engagements to stewardesses. Three stewardesses. All flying international schedules, who somehow manage to never be in Paris at the same time. There’s Gloria (played by Bhama Roget), his fiancee from the Unites States, and Gabriella (played Angela DiMarco), his fiancee from Italy, and Gretchen (played by Cheyenne Casebier), his fiancee from Germany. One might be forgiven for getting them and their schedules all confused, but Bernard keeps everything straight with the help of a master listing of flight schedules. Which he needs so he knows when to switch out photos to the right loved one.
Life goes along swimmingly for Bernard, wining and dining three attractive, sexy women, until Boeing ups it game in the aerospace world and develops faster planes. This means, somehow, that all the stewardesses have more time to be in Paris with Bernard and, to Bernard’s distress, his carefully laid plans go awry.
On hand to witness the mayhem and the maneuvering required when three women are in the same place at the same time, is Bernard’s long time pal Robert, nimbly played by Mark Bedard in a fine turn of physical comedy. And helping Bernard try to keep everything straight, despite it falling apart all around him, is his long time housekeeper Berthe, played by Anne Allgood in one scene stealing moment after another. These two
There are no complicated back stories, no subtle political message, no ridiculous red herrings balling up the eventual boy-gets-the-right-girl ending. It’s silliness through and through, and if the production can manage not to take itself too seriously, so can you. This fond look back at an era that can only be resurrected on stage provides an evening of silly laughs and “if only” kinds of comments. Not a bad way to spend an evening at all.
Boeing Boeing was written by Marc Camoletti, and translated from French by Beverley Cross and Francis Evans. It was directed by Allison Narver.
Location: Seattle Repertory Theater, 155 Mercer Street, Seattle Center Campus
Run Dates: April 19th – May 19th, 2013
Tickets: Start at about $25
Photo credits: Courtesy of Seattle Rep