Tuesday, March 12, 2013

BOEING-BOEING • Dramatic License Productions

You know it's a farce when you notice that the set has 6 doors, am I right?  This one, written by French playwright Marc Camoletti debuted in 1960's Paris and the translated version came to the states in 1965.

Bernard (Chad Morris) is a successful American architect living in Paris.  The play opens with Bernard seeing off his fiancée Gloria (Deanna Mazdra), an airline hostess from Texas.  Or trying to see her off.  She's not in a big rush to leave her husband-to-be, but Bernard seems anxious.  See, Bernard has 3 fiancées, all of them airline hostesses, and naturally, they have no idea about the other women.  In addition to Gloria, there's the lusty Italian, Gabriella (Natasha Toro), and the aggressive German, Gretchen (Emily Baker).  He keeps everything straight by flight timetables.  (Silly Bernard…)  He's convinced that keeping up with the flight schedules, he'll be able to juggle his "international harem".  Helping him keep everything running smoothly is his poor maid Berthe (Kim Furlow).  Her value is wrapped up in her ability to remember what the different women like to eat, and to change the pictures in the bedroom whenever they're in town.

Natasha Toro (Gabriella), Chad Morris (Bernard)
and John Reidy (Robert).
Photo Credit: John Lamb
When an old friend of his, Robert (John Reidy), newly transplanted from the states drops by, he's amazed that Bernard is able to pull this off.  Well, you KNOW that's gonna change.  Sure enough, once flights start to get cancelled, Robert tries to assist his buddy in a desperate attempt to keep the women from finding out about each other, even as their paths inside the apartment nearly cross.  It frazzles the men, and drives Berthe completely nuts.  

The play itself seems to get a little bogged down in the second act.  You know that at some point everything is gonna hit the fan, but it takes a long time to develop -- a tad too long considering it's a farce.  Nevertheless, it's thankfully bolstered by a great cast under Brad Schwartz's direction, and a lot of very entertaining physical comedy.  Watching Morris go from a smooth Bernard to practically having a nervous breakdown is fun to watch, along with an incredibly expressive Reidy as his pal Robert.  Baker is hilarious as the exuberant Gretchen, adding loads of humor into all of her scenes.  Toro as the pouty Italian Gabriella who truly loves Bernard, along with Mazdra as Gloria provide many laughs as well while they're being shuttled from room to room so they won't know the other one is there.  Furlow as Bernard's French maid Berthe is also very funny as his reluctant accomplice.

Emily Baker (Gretchen) and John Reidy (Robert).
Photo Credit: John Lamb
Scott Schoonover's set had a mod 60's vibe, nicely lit by Tony Anselmo, and Cherol Thibaut's costumes were distinct and complemented the proceedings perfectly.  Kudos also to dialect coach Nancy Bell.

Check it out for some silly fun -- it's playing until the 17th.


Written by Marc Camoletti
Translated by Beverley Cross
Directed by Brad Schwartz
Dramatic License Productions, Chesterfield Mall (upper level entrance, next to Houlihans)
through March 17 | tickets: $22 - $25
Performances Thursday to Saturday at 8pm, Sundays at 2pm

Chad Morris (Bernard), Emily Baker (Gretchen), Deanna Mazdra (Gloria), Natasha Toro (Gabriella), Kim Furlow (Berthe) and John Reidy (Robert).

John Reidy (Robert), Kim Furlow (Berthe), Chad Morris (Bernard)
and Deanna Mazdra (Gloria).
Photo Credit: John Lamb
Scenic design by Scott Schoonover; lighting design by Tony Anselmo; costume design by Cherol Thibaut; sound design by Joseph T. Pini; dialect coach, Nancy Bell; stage manager, Johanna Beck.

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