'Boeing-Boeing' Has Recouped Investment; Readies Tour for 2009
Beginning in London's West End, where it ran for a year, Matthew Warchus' production opened at Broadway's Longacre Theater on May 4 and won Tony Awards for best revival and leading actor in a play for the inspired performance of Mark Rylance.
Marc Camoletti's sex farce about a womanizing American architect in Paris and his revolving door of flight attendant fiancees was considered a long shot for a Broadway transfer as the original New York run was a complete flop. The 1965 Paramount film based on the play starring Tony Curtis and Jerry Lewis was a box office failure too.
"This was never an automatic fit for London, either, given that it was sort of a dead play," lead producer Sonia Friedman told the trade publication Daily Variety. "But I decided to do it because I thought people needed to laugh. In New York the word of mouth kicked in quickly and it really just skyrocketed," she added. "The wraps defied all the slow trends over the summer, and even in this climate of uncertainty it's still doing fine."
Grosses for the Tony Winning Broadway run are at $9.2 million.
The production is also being packaged to begin a North American tour in fall 2009. Friedman is also lead producer on the Broadway transfer of London's Royal Court Theater production of "The Seagull," which opened Thursday evening and stars Kristin Scott Thomas and Peter Sarsgaard.
Boeing-Boeing currently stars Christine Baranski, 2008 Tony Award Winner Mark Rylance, Greg Germann, Gina Gershon, Kathryn Hahn, and Missi Pyle. Beginning Tuesday, October 7, Paige Davis and Rebecca Gayheart will replace Ms. Hahn and Ms. Gershon, respectively.
Best known as the host of TV's popular "Trading Spaces," Paige Davis is no stranger to Broadway, having starred as Roxie Hart in Chicago as well as the national tours of Beauty and the Beast and Sweet Charity. Rebecca Gayheart last appeared on Broadway as Shelby in Steel Magnolias. She starred in the FOX drama "Vanished," "Beverly Hills: 90210," and has guest starred on "Ugly Betty," "Nip/Tuck," and had a recurring role on "Dead Like Me." Her many film credits include Nothing to Lose, Scream 2, Jawbreaker, and Urban Legend, among others.
Boeing-Boeing won 2008 Tony Awards for Best Play Revival and Best Actor (Mark Rylance) and Drama Desk Awards for Best Play Revival and Best Actor (Rylance). The show received four additional Tony nominations.
In Boeing-Boeing, an architect living in Paris (Germann) has been successfully juggling three flight attendant fiancées (Davis, Gayheart, and Pyle) with his housekeeper (Baranski) reluctantly playing romantic air-traffic controller as they fly in and out of his swank bachelor pad. But when an old school pal (Rylance) visits, things get rather turbulent. Schedules change, flights are delayed and chaos ensues in this whirl of mayhem and matchmaking.
Paige Davis is well known to millions of television viewers as host of The Learning Channel's popular show, "Trading Spaces." No stranger to the stage, Paige has appeared on Broadway as Roxie Hart in Chicago and in the national touring companies of Beauty and the Beast and Sweet Charity. Regional credits include Maria in The Sound of Music at The Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera, April in Company at Missouri Repertory Theatre, Val in A Chorus Line at Austin Music Theatre, and Puck in A Midsummer Night's Dream at The Chicago Cultural Center. Paige will be playing the role of Gloria.
Rebecca Gayheart made her Broadway debut as Shelby in the recent all-star revival of Steel Magnolias. She made her professional stage debut playing Sunny in the L.A. production of The Last Night of Ballyhoo, for which she won a Back Stage West Garland Award. Her many film credits include Nothing to Lose, Urban Legend, Jawbreaker, Scream 2, Shadow Hours, Harvard Man, Hangman's Daughter, and Pipe Dream. On television, Rebecca recently starred in the FOX drama "Vanished," as well as the ABC series "Wasteland," Fox's "Beverly Hills 90210" and in the NBC series "Earth 2." She was also a recurring guest star on Showtime's "Dead Like Me" and "Nip/Tuck" for F/X, and made a recent guest appearance on "Ugly Betty." Rebecca will be playing the role of Gabriella.Boeing-Boeing is performed on the following schedule at the Longacre Theatre (220 West 48th Street): Tuesday at 7:00pm, Wednesday - Saturday at 8:00pm, Wednesday and Saturday at 2:00pm, and Sunday at 3:00pm.
Boeing-Boeing features a design by Rob Howell, lighting by Hugh Vanstone, original music by Claire van Kampen, sound by Simon Baker and curtain call by Kathleen Marshall. Boeing-Boeing is produced by Sonia Friedman Productions, Bob Boyett, ACT Productions, Matthew Byam Shaw, Robert G. Bartner, The Weinstein Company, Susan Gallin/Mary Lu Roffe, Broadway Across America, Tulchin/Jenkins/DSM, and The Araca Group.
Boeing-Boeing is performed on the following schedule at the Longacre Theatre (220 West 48th Street): Tuesday at 7:00pm, Wednesday - Saturday at 8:00pm, Wednesday and Saturday at 2:00pm, and Sunday at 3:00pm.
Photo Credit Walter McBride/Retna Ltd.