Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

Review: Five-Door French Farce BOEING BOEING is Fabulously Fantastic at the Morgan-Wixson

Review: Five-Door French Farce BOEING BOEING is Fabulously Fantastic at the Morgan-Wixson

Written by French playwright Marc Camoletti, and translated by Beverley Cross and Francis Evans, BOEING BOEING premiered in Paris in 1960, where it ran for 19 years. Nominated for six Tony Awards in 2008 and winner of Best Revival of a Play, it was once listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the most-performed French play in the world. The riotous farce was made into a movie starring Tony Curtis and Jerry Lewis in 1965 and has left audiences airborne with laughter ever since.

Set in the 1960s, bachelor Bernard (suave and sophisticated Doug Mattingly) couldn't be happier. He has a beautiful flat in Paris near Orly with a fantastic view, his dedicated Review: Five-Door French Farce BOEING BOEING is Fabulously Fantastic at the Morgan-Wixson but slightly exasperated housekeeper Berthe (double take expert Maria Pavone), and three attractive stewardesses all engaged to him without knowing about each other. There's Gloria (Chrissy Leigh Anderson), the curvaceous and friendly blonde American stewardess from TWA in her red uniform, Gabriella (Sonja Kovacevic), the hot-tempered Italian from Alitalia in her blue uniform, and Gretchen (Kaylee Grace King), the tall and commanding German from Lufthansa in her bright yellow uniform.

And in the years before computers and cell phones to assist Review: Five-Door French Farce BOEING BOEING is Fabulously Fantastic at the Morgan-Wixson Bernard with scheduling, he uses a datebook and the world globe sitting on his desk to keep track of where each of the three will be travelling, and has managed to keep "one up, one down and one pending." But Bernard's life is about to get incredibly bumpy when his friend, Robert (pratfall expert Brian O'Sullivan), comes to stay and unexpected schedule changes bring all three women to Paris and Bernard's apartment at the same time. And with Robert meeting all these lovely ladies for the first time on the same day, he soon forgets which lies to tell to whom to keep Bernard out of the doghouse.

Review: Five-Door French Farce BOEING BOEING is Fabulously Fantastic at the Morgan-Wixson But with each of the three believing Bernard will be thrilled she is back in "their" flat and bedroom so soon, no doubt catastrophe looms. And as the situation gets more and more desperate, somehow the two men manage to sort all three women into different rooms with poor Berthe never knowing who is where or to whom she is serving which meal. Hilarity ensues!

From the moment you walk inside the Morgan-Wixson Theatre in Santa Monica and notice the marvelous, five-door, Review: Five-Door French Farce BOEING BOEING is Fabulously Fantastic at the Morgan-Wixson 60s style BOEING BOEING set designed by Tristan Griffin and lit by Donny Jackson, you can't help but wonder who will be running in and out or hiding behind each one of those doors in Marc Camoletti's brilliantly written French farce, directed to perfection by Branda Lock. The continuously hysterical action, for the first time ever, had me put down my notebook and focus only on the comedic vision being presented in front of me so as to not miss a thing, especially who was going to hide where!

Director Branda Lock shares how she loves the way the script hilariously satirizes the 1960s playboy. Review: Five-Door French Farce BOEING BOEING is Fabulously Fantastic at the Morgan-Wixson "The '60s era was the Golden Age of the 'alpha male' and the playwright saw the hubris in this character in many ways," Lock observes. "The play reminds me of the vibrancy of the works of Moliere, Restoration Comedy, and Commedia Dell'Arte." Her great skill is finding the real people behind the archetypes makes these characters more than just cardboard cutouts, because as she notes, "beneath every stereotype or persona we wear, there is an insecurity and vulnerability that can often lead to the most extraordinary and hilarious circumstances."

And given Lock's skill in keeping the action moving Review: Five-Door French Farce BOEING BOEING is Fabulously Fantastic at the Morgan-Wixson and making the personalities of each BOEING BOEING character three-dimensional, I can honestly say this production is one of the funniest comedies I have even seen. Credit must also be given to the talented cast's ability to remember cues and enter or exit as perfectly required to keep the fantastic farce right on target, while managing to keep themselves from laughing at the non-stop nonsense taking place around them. And of course, this is live theater where improvisation will no doubt take place in every performance given how many props get used, thrown, dropped, or eaten!

Review: Five-Door French Farce BOEING BOEING is Fabulously Fantastic at the Morgan-Wixson And I have one note for costumer Diana Mann - put that forceful German stewardess in black leather carrying handcuffs or a blindfold for her final entrance. It's a great laugh waiting to happen and an opportunity Robert would certainly appreciate!

So put up your tray table, fasten your seatbelt, and enjoy the fabulous BOEING BOEING flight through May 27, 2018 or Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm, Sundays at 2pm, at The Morgan-Wixson Theatre, 2627 Pico Boulevard, Santa Monica 90405.Review: Five-Door French Farce BOEING BOEING is Fabulously Fantastic at the Morgan-Wixson Free parking about a block west of the theater at the Venice Family Clinic. Adults $23, Students and Seniors $20, with reserved seats available at www.morgan-wixson.org, by phone at 310-828-7519, or by email at mwtboxoffice@gmail.com. Please note that due to adult situations and sexual innuendoes, this show is appropriate for ages sixteen and up.

Photos by Joel D. Castro Photography




From This Author - Shari Barrett

Shari Barrett, a Los Angeles native, has been active in the theater world since the age of six - acting, singing, and dancing her way across the boards all over town. After teaching in secondary schools,... (read more about this author)


Interview: Meg Lin on Developing Her Solo Show WHAT AM I, CHOP SUEY?
June 29, 2022

Prior to pursuing her childhood dream of becoming an actor, Meg Lin was a former K-12 teacher, school principal, college professor, and non-profit CEO. But along the way, she struggled finding her true identity as a Chinese American as the first in her family born in the U.S. In her original solo play What am I, Chopped Suey? Meg shares how she struggled to defy cultural norms to 'save face' while coping with challenges she went through to overcome stereotypes and redefine what it means to be Asian in America. I decided to speak with Meg about how universal her first-generation American tale will resonate with so many, as well as her plans to continue presenting it as an Encore selection from this year's Hollywood Fringe Festival.

BWW Interview: Multi-Talented Actor Ron Bottitta on his roles in WAKINGS! at the Odyssey Theatre Ensemble
April 21, 2022

The ability to totally transform yourself into the physical, emotional and intellectual persona of another person so believably that audience members will see the character and not the actor is one of the most fascinating elements of live theatre to me. This is especially true for actors I follow, seeing them in several productions and always being surprised at the new person presented in front of me, often having nothing in common with the real personality of the actor. One such actor is Ron Bottitta, an English-born actor who has called the USA his home since 1980, who I spoke with about his characters in WAKINGS! at the Odyssey Theatre,

BWW Interview: Director Elisabeth Tsubota on the World Premiere of LIVE AT THE PURPLE LOUNGE
April 20, 2022

Crimson Square Theatre Company is presenting the world premiere of Live at the Purple Lounge, a drama by five talented female playwrights featuring a cast of five women (plus a few men) involved at a stand-up comedy club. I decided to speak with playwright/director Elisabeth Tsubota about her experience working with the all-female writing team and almost exclusively female cast to bring the production to the stage.

BWW Interview: Sona Tatoyan on her Multimedia Theatrical Experience AZAD at the Pico Playhouse
April 15, 2022

During the darkest of times, surprise discoveries of childhood joy can allow the sunshine in on even the bleakest of situations. And with Ukrainian refugees in the news daily, when I heard about Sona Tatoyan's Multimedia Theatrical Experience AZAD ('free' in Armenian) which offers 'one woman's magical, multi-generational, healing journey from the Armenian Genocide to the Syrian war,' I decided to speak with her about her creative journey to, as she shares, 'find the brightest light from the deepest shadows, while living in an upside-down world.' And we can all understand living in that type of situation given the past two years. Performances April 21-22-23 at the Pico Playhouse.

BWW Interview: GMCLA Executive Director & Producer Lou Spisto on QUEEN OF THE NIGHT at UCLA Royce Hall
March 30, 2022

GMCLA's next long-anticipated event, QUEEN of the night, featuring the greatest hits from the critically acclaimed legendary rock band Queen, mixed with opera and high-energy dance numbers performed by the Chorus, live, in-person at UCLA Royce Hall on Saturday, April 2 at 8:00 p.m. and Sunday, April 3 at 2:00 p.m. To find out more about the production, I spoke with GMCLA Executive Director & Producer Lou Spisto about the creation of this special event concert