BWW Interviews: The Cast of Theatre UCF's BOEING BOEING
Kicking off Theatre UCF's summer season is BOEING BOEING, a play originally written by Marc Camoletti and translated by Beverly Cross and Francis Evans. Set in Paris during the 1960's Bernard (Patrick Sylvester) happily juggles life with the aid of his maid (Kate Ingram) as a swinging bachelor with three beautiful women. Bernard's friend, Robert (Eric Earley) comes to town, at the same time a new Boeing jet throws off all of Bernard's careful planning. As expected much hilarity occurs as Bernard's various lies start to unravel. BroadwayWorld.com sat down with Patrick Sylvester, Kate Ingram, and Eric Earley to discuss the production.
Bonus tidbit: For the first time, drinks are allowed in the theater. Take a break from the summer heat by seeing this show.
BWW: The trouble begins when Bernard's friend, Robert, comes to visit him in Paris and then Bernard's perfectly-timed life seems to fall out of sync. What is it about Bernard that audience and flight attendants seem to love?
Kate Ingram (KHI): Bernard LOVES WOMEN, and he has a great, charming smile. I believe he loves women so much, that he can't get enough of them. He responds to their individual needs, and he has recently raised the stakes to the challenge of juggling three.... Juggling two has become a bit too easy.
Patrick Sylvester (PTS): Bernard has this sense of calm and ease about what he does, because he lives his life by the books -specifically, his airline timetables which help him keep everything in order. He's charming, witty and seductive. Bernard spends loads of money and energy on all three of his fiancées just to keep them happy, because he does in fact love all of them, just in different ways - and during different days of the week.
Eric Earley (EE): Bernard is the kind of guy that all the women want to be with and all the men want to be. He is extremely charming, dignified and wealthily. He is a true gentlemen. The only way Bernard can pull of juggling three women is because he is so cool, calm, and collected. He's an easy guy to love.
BWW: Kate, you play the maid that helps Bernard keep his crazy love life in order, what is that like?
KHI: I was once an airhostess, back in the day.... I know how lonely it is when you land in a big city and have no place to call "home" - I wish M. Bernard would be more singular in his pursuits. While I do not like that he is "stringing three young ladies along" it does give me a chance to try to take care of the ladies, as well as Bernard. I think Gloria is a "new" THIRD and this has complicated the situation immensely.
BWW: This show takes place during the 1960s in France, a very romantic setting. What sort of research did you do to prepare for your role?
KHI: I have seen so many movies from the 60's, I didn't need much research. I also remember that being a stewardess was almost the same as being a Playboy Bunny, in terms of sexuality. And that was the ladies' choice.
PTS: I'm a huge fan of AMC's MadMen, so being cast in this show gave me an opportunity to watch the seasons over again in an attempt try and emulate that sort of class and seduction that Jon Hamm and John Slattery play so well. I also had to learn a bit of geography, because Camoletti references several different country side escapes and cities in Germany and France.
EE: In order to prepare, I watched a lot of videos on Paris in the 60s. The 1965 film version of BOEING BOEING introduced me to the glamour of Paris at that time. Paris was one of the biggest culture capitals of the world. We also got a chance to use some of the music from Paris jazz clubs in the 60s in the show which really helps set the mood.
BWW: BOEING BOEING requires impeccable timing both physically and plot-wise. Has this been a challenge and what is it like working with this cast?
KHI: next question: timing is everything. Clean, precise movement is required. Farce must appear natural and logical, BUT it requires step-by-step precision.... Which is not "natural" in "real life" - the key is to keep listening and keep it fresh as if it is happening for the very first time, and then to allow uncensored, impulsive human responses. We must ALWAYS remember: the audience is watching every move you make, and that every move you make will be part of the story.
PTS: When you come to see the show, you'll see how physically demanding it is for Eric and myself. We'll be getting smacked by doors, women and bean bag chairs, while running, jumping, and tumbling all over the stage. The cast is a joy to work with. Everyone brings an incredible energy to the show that we all feed off of. Two of the closest friends I have made since being with Theatre UCF, Eric Earley and Kim Hough, have made this an unforgettable experience that I'm sure I will cherish for many years.
EE: It has been a challenge because everything really needs to be super specific. Especially in order for a joke to land. For instance, when two people enter or exit doors, it needs to happen at the exact same time for the joke to work. It has been a pleasure to work with this cast. They are some of the most fun and talented people I have ever met. We get along so well in real life and that friendship and chemistry definitely helps on the stage.
BWW: Patrick, the last role I saw you in was Judas in Theatre Downtown's GODSPELL. You've gone from an Apostle to a playboy. What challenges are you facing as you prepare to play Bernard?
PTS: Well, the Robert Redford haircut and the shark-skin suit help an actor worlds when trying to transform from a mop-top-teenager-apostle to an incredibly successful Parisian architect. The good thing is though, loads of energy and passion were needed in both - just in different directions of that passion - so bringing that to the table in BOEING BOEING was easy to do. The text in BOEING BOEING is much more specific and direct in plot, so big choices had to be justified and make sense for the characters, where GODSPELL was nearly entirely freeform and it was up to the actors to make bold choices to make the text work.
BWW: In your opinion, what is your most favorite scene? And why should people come see this show?
KHI: Favorite scene? My first scene with Mme. Gretchen, because she fascinates me and scares me at the same time. Why should people come see the show? Because sex fascinates and scares people at the same time. :-)
PTS: In my opinion, the scene I love the most in BOEING BOEING is when Gretchen,my German fiancée, arrives to find no one but Berthe home in my flat. Kim and Kate bring so much life to that scene that I literally cannot stop myself from laughing out loud every time I watch it. I truly think people will love every single character in this show, because they're all incredibly likable people. You want to fight for all of them and for them all to end up with the right person. There's no real antagonist aside from the doors which never seem to stop opening to bring in new trouble for Robert and Bernard to fix so Bernard's world won't fall apart at the seams.
EE: My personal favorite scene is when Robert Is trying to seduce Gretchen. I get to have a lot of fun in that scene and I think the audience will thoroughly enjoy it. People should come to see BOEING BOEING because it is such a light and fun show! I think it's close to impossible to sit through this show without bursting with laughter. Relax from this brutal summer heat in the cool black box with a drink in hand and laugh the night away.
BWW: Thank you! I can't wait to see it.
BOEING BOEING runs June 13-16, June 20-23, July 12, 14, 18, 20. To buy tickets visit here.
Photo Credit: TheatreUCF