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Southern Florida by John Lariviere


Boeing-Boeing

Boeing-Boeing
Monica Lynne Herrera, Lauren Butler and Rachel Lomax
The Promethean Theatre presents the classic farce Boeing-Boeing written by French playwright Marc Camoletti. This English language adaptation by Beverley Cross was first staged in London at the Apollo Theatre in 1962 and transferred to the Duchess Theatre in 1965, running for a total of seven years. In 1991, the play was listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the most performed French play throughout the world. Many Americans may be familiar with the 1965 Paramount Pictures film adaptation starring Tony Curtis and Jerry Lewis.

Set in Paris in 1960, Boeing-Boeing is the story of a perennial American playboy named Bernard (Matthew William Chizever). With the help of his housekeeper Bertha (Sally Bondi) he deftly juggles three fiancées. He manages this only because each one is a stewardess assigned to international routes on non-intersecting flight schedules. He has their comings and goings timetabled with precision. His American fiancée Gloria (Lauren Butler) leaves just in time for his Italian fiancée Gabriella (Monica Lynne Herrera) to arrive. Hours after Gabriella leaves, his German fiancée Gretchen (Rachel Lomax) arrives.

Chizever plays the role of Bernard as not quite enough of the desired shallow womanizer one expects. We need him to start off that way, so that he appears to grow up a bit at the end. He does have very good pacing and delivery, however. The show clicks along at a crisp pace, especially as filled as it is with physical comedy. Duncan has a handle on that end of things as a flustered and bumbling Robert.

Of the three fiancées, Rachel Lomax garners the most laughs as the eccentric, Teutonic Gretchen. Her reactions are all bigger than life, and yet fit the character perfectly. Lauren Butler as Gloria has some funny moments as well, though she needs to work on her supposedly Atlanta accent. Sally Bondi slips in and out of her French accent, and is sometimes lost in under-her-breath mutterings meant to be funnier they actually are. Herrera as Gabriella has both a fiery sexual appeal and a certain warm charm. Her Italian accent is the most consistent. Though the show seems to withstand the test of time and translation, and the set is slick and well crafted, it needs a bit stronger commitment to the style of the piece by all involved to get all the laughs it deserves.

When his long lost friend Robert (Mark Duncan) is transferred from America to Paris, Bernard invites him to stay with him until he finds his own place. Bernard is concerned when all the airlines begin putting new, state-of-the-art aircraft (Boeing) into service, thereby changing his carefully arranged, romantic revolving door. Before the new airplanes come into play, however, mother nature forces multiple changes in flight schedules and the three fiancées all end up in Paris at the same time.

Boeing-Boeing appeared January 13 – 29, 2012, at the Black Box Theatre in the Don Taft University Center at Nova Southeastern University. The campus is located at 3301 College Ave., Davie, FL 33314. The Promethean Theatre is a professional theatre company in residence at Nova Southeastern University. They are a nonprofit, regional theatre company seeking daring, creative, and original approaches to classical pieces, as well as contemporary and new works that engage the imagination and inspire passionate discourse among its artists and audience. Tickets may be purchased by phone at 866-811-4111. For more information on the theatre and its season, you may contact them by phone at 786 317-7580, or visit www.theprometheantheatre.org.

Cast:
Bernard: Matthew William Chizever
Robert: Mark Duncan
Bertha: Sally Bondi
Gloria: Lauren Butler
Gabriella: Monica Lynne Herrera
Gretchen: Rachel Lomax

Crew: Director: Margaret M. Ledford
Lighting Design: Daniel Gelbmann
Sound Design: Matt Corey
Costume Design: Ellis Tillman
Stage Manager: Andrew Nachtwey


Photo: George Schiavone


See the current theatre season schedule for southern Florida.

-- John Lariviere



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