Bernard lives in a swanky apartment in Paris with his three international fiances, none of whom know about the other two. He tells his friend Robert, visiting from Wisconsin, that he's able to pull this off due to careful planning and paying attention to the time tables of the women's three airline employers, and of course with the begrudging help of his organized maid Berthe. Everything runs swimmingly and all parties are happy with the arrangement until a perfect storm of weather over the Atlantic and faster planes causes all three women to be in the apartment at the same time. It was bound to happen sooner or later. Bernard, Robert, and Berthe go to great lengths to keep the women apart for as long as they can, which results in lots of physical comedy and door slamming. It's like a shell game trying to keep track of who's in which room. But of course it can't go on forever, and the truth, or some version of it, eventually comes out.
|Stacia Rice, Zach Curtis, and Sam Landman|
(photo by Thomas Sandelands)
|Mo Perry and Sara Richardson|
(photo by Thomas Sandelands)
Eli Schlatter's set design looks like something out of a '60s sitcom: clean lines, bar stools, black leather furniture, a globe bar, corded phone, and a bright orange bean bag that gets much use. Katherine B. Kohl has created mod faux stewardess uniforms that are to die for, complete with matching hats, coats, gloves, shoes, and what looks like authentic vintage bags from TWA, Alitalia, and Lufthansa. The music playing before the show and during intermission is the icing on the cake, perfectly completing the cohesive '60 theme of the show.
Staging a play from the '60s about a man with three fiances during Women's History Month could be a mistake, but somehow it doesn't seem sexist. It's clear that the women have the upper hands in this polygamous relationship, and they all get what they want in the end. It seems that Bernard really does care for them all, even if he is lying to and manipulating them. And in the '60s, "air hostess" was one of the few careers open to women that allowed them to be independent and travel the world; these women are no pushovers.
Boeing Boeing is a hilarious broad comedy, perfectly executed by the Torch Theater team. If you're looking for a good laugh, go see it between now and April 4 (discount tickets available on Goldstar).
*It's worth noting that Mo Perry and Zach Curtis are doing double duty; they're concurrently appearing as Mrs. and Mr. Capulet in Romeo and Juliet at Park Square Theatre, which is mostly performed during the daytime for students. So it's logistically quite possible, but also probably creates a bit of whiplash going from the great romantic tragedy to this high comedy. On second thought, that probably makes it easier.
This article also appears on Broadway World Minneapolis.