BWW Reviews: BOEING BOEING Rep Stage - Go for the Laughs

By: Apr. 29, 2013
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It's all in the timing. Whenever you have a play that is full of slapstick, timing is everything. And I'm sure the timing will improve the longer the BOEING BOEING cast work with each other. The play is full of slamming doors which requires perfect timing and during the last week of the run coming this week-end, I'm confident the timing will improve.

I'm very surprised this French comedy by Marc Camoletti has not been done in the Baltimore/Washington area before. I adored the show when I saw the revival on Broadway in 2008 which featured an amazing cast: Tony winner Mark Rylance, Bradley Whitford (L.A. Law), Christine Baranski ("The Good Wife"), Kathryn Hahn, Gina Gershon, and Mary McCormack. It was a hoot.

I was thus really looking forward to the Rep Stage's production directed by Karl Kippola who has assembled a cast that features a handsome American gigolo Bernard (the always terrific James Whalen) who lives in a Parisian "bachelor "pad and has an old friend from Wisconsin Robert (the very talented Paul Edward Hope) drop in to say hi, the hysterical dead-pannEd Gallic maid Berthe (an impressive Nanna Ingvarsson) and then there are the three stewardesses that Bernard enjoys his time with the help of the airlines' large time-table that assures him the freedom to enjoy all three.

The three stewardesses are Gabriella, Gloria, and Gretchen. All three arrive on stage in their respective short-skirted airline uniforms. Gabriella (Kelsey Edgerly) flies for Alitalia. Gloria (Molly Cahill Govern) wears a TWA outfit and hails from New York. Finally there's Gretchen (Allison Leigh Corke), yes, she's the German stewardess who flies for Lufthansa. All three do very well with their respective accents.

Bernard promises each of his women that he is engaged to them.

When Robert arrives, Bernard tells him about his system where he is able to have relationships with each of his women thanks to the on-time schedules of the airlines.

But all hell breaks loose when the three women all seem to arrive at once.

Paul Edward Hope can look for a Helen Hayes nomination next year, he's that good.

The show ends with an embarrassing curtain call when the cast participates in a dance they don't feel comfortable doing.

But, even with all its foibles, I still enjoyed BOEING BOEING.

On Friday, May 3, the audience is invited for a post-show discussion with the cast and the Rep Stage artistic team.

There is Pre-Show lecture before the Saturday matinee, May 4, 2013 from 12:30 p.m. to 1:45 p.m. in the Monteabaro Rectial Hall. Dramaturg Dr. Lisa Wilde and Rep Stage's departing Producing Artistic Director, Michael Stebbins, will discuss the tenure and practice of being an artistic director.

BOEING BOEING ends its run May 5. For tickets, 443-518-1500 or visit www.repstage.org.

cgshubow@broadwayworld.com



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