BWW Interview: Erica Gunaca Talks BOEING BOEING at Stagecrafters
Boeing Boeing is opening this weekend on March 22nd at Stagecrafters Main Stage in Royal Oak. The hilarious, fast-paced farced is about Bernard, a happy bachelor who has carefully arranged his life so that his three stewardess fiancées don't land on his door step at the same time. Everything is fine until Boeing develops a faster jet, wreaking havoc on his schedule when all three girlfriends land at the same time for a visit - Bernard flies into a full-blown panic! Filled with dizzying twists and turns and door-slamming entrances and exits, Boeing Boeing is a classic bedroom farce that won the 2008 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play. BroadwayWorld Detroit had a moment to speak with Erica Gunaca, who plays one of the girlfriends in the show, Gabriella, as she is getting ready for it to open about the hilarious show to get Detroit theatre fans excited about Stagecrafters' Boeing Boeing!
Can you give our readers a brief background of yourself and then your theatre career as an introduction?
Erica Gunaca: The briefest of backgrounds I can give about me would be when I was young I found a flyer on the ground to audition for a show. I got cast, fell in love, did some extra work in New York City for All My Children where thought I was the cat's pajamas because I got to eat a bagel on a real live set and fake talk to crazy beautiful looking people. Then I continued to be onstage, majored in Theatre Performance at Western Michigan University (Go Broncos!) and took some improv at Go Comedy! Improv Theater. I took a 2ish-year hiatus and ba-da-boom...I'm back, baby!
How would you describe Boeing Boeing in your own words?
It's a non-stop, relentlessly farcical, comedy, with a lotta' doors!
How would you describe your character, Gabriella?
A woman who fearlessly leads with her heart on her sleeve. She loves love. Don't mistake her enthusiasm or passion for not being strong-willed. You better believe she'll flip on a dime and tell you like it is. She knows who she is, what she wants, who she wants. She's the type of woman who walks into a room and makes it hers.
Did you do any special preparation for your role?
I did multiple things to prepare, but I think the most influential was hanging around my close friend's pure Italian family. What a night! The women took me under their wing and taught me the Italian way. Things like shake your fists when you want to make a point and kiss everyone when you greet - them people are only a stranger once.
Do you see any similarities between Gabriella and yourself?
We love our wine! We also love to live passionately. I think sometimes I wish I was a little more like her in the confidence department, so she's teaching me a thing or two...
Do you have special pre-show or post-show rituals that you do?
Oh gosh, so many! Some are my own personal little things; however, I'll tell you that there's a scene in the show where I come in emotionally destroyed. I'm happy that most of the cast are either onstage or on the other side of the stage, because you can catch me doing push-ups, jumping jacks, and sit-ups right by my entrance, trying to get out of breath! I feel like it helps capture she's winded, but also clears my mind and allows me to play in the moment.
Do you have a favorite moment or line in the show?
My favorite moment in the show isn't particularly a 'moment', but is happening throughout the show and is more of an arch. I love the journey Bernard takes. In the beginning, he's so self-assured and suave. As things pick up and blossom, he begins to become a wreck. It's funny, but let's face it, it's also fun to watch a suave, self-assured fella crumble a little bit. And then Robert becomes more of the self-assured. Scott Wellborn (Bernard) and Toby Booker (Robert) really play that exchange of level together flawlessly. All of my favorite particular lines in the show would have to be Gretchen's character. I mean any delivery from Johannah Steinbrecher-Booker in this show is like a 12 out of 10!
What makes Stagecrafters' interpretation of Boeing Boeing unique?
Our cast consists of strong individuals and we are lucky because we've been encouraged to play. Some scenes are so fun to do because you never know who is trying something a little different that night. It helps keep it fresh and in the moment. I think when you have an ensemble where the stage is more like a playground than a well thought out map, it's bound to be unique every single night!
Boeing Boeing runs March 22nd through April 7th at Stagecrafters Main Stage in Royal Oak. For more information and tickets, call 248-541-6430 or visit www.stagecrafters.org.