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St. Louis by Richard Green

Boeing, Boeing
Dramatic License Productions

Also see Richard's review of Next to Normal

Boeing Boeing
Emily Baker and John Reidy
Somehow, I always thought that going to see this famous old play (almost as old as I am) would be a little like discovering that my parents actually had sex. And I didn't want to discover that. But, either way, here I am. And I'm awfully glad I came.

Boeing, Boeing is Marc Camoletti's 1962 sex farce, which ran for seven years when it first opened in London; nineteen years in Paris; and just recently completed a profitable revival on Broadway. And (I've just learned) it also holds the Guinness World Record as the most performed of all French plays. So I guess a lot of your parents must have had sex, too.

This romantic trend seems likely to persist, as director Brad Schwartz has managed to make this 51-year-old romp look fresh and desirable all over again. John Reidy, as the visitor from America, has never been funnier (and that's saying a lot), trying to keep up with his friend Bernard (Chad Morris), a swinging bachelor with three stewardesses in various stages of coming and going throughout the play. And just watching Mr. Morris go from charming rat-pack lothario, as things begin to unravel, to something out of Lord of the Flies, when they've completely run amok, is pretty spectacular too.

"Where did you find those girls?" I demanded to know of the director at intermission. Mr. Schwartz only smiled a worn-out little smile. Deanna Mazdra is winsome and wild as the TWA flight attendant from Eastland, Texas—with some very big ideas about how matrimony really works in America. Haughty and ravishing Natasha Toro is simply intimidating as the very proper super-vixen from Al Italia. And, "Dear Penthouse, I've never read this in your column before, but ..." Emily Baker is brilliant as the dominatrix from Lufthansa. She actually makes you contemplate, in a favorable light, the various possibilities of bondage and domination, though somehow her richly detailed performance is entirely "G" rated. I wanted to applaud her every scene as she made each grand, Germanic exit. But I'm afraid she'd not approve.

The woman who makes it all possible, producer Kim Furlow, does well as the long-suffering maid, completely transformed into something like Miss Swan from "MAD-TV." But it's Mr. Reidy who keeps it all just barely stuck-together as the overwhelmed visitor from Wisconsin. I never, ever thought I'd laugh at a whole bunch of actors who just suddenly turn to see each other, and scream all at once. But I did. Two or three times. And, God willing, Reidy will still be terrifically funny in another decade or two, when he fully enters his Eddie Mayehoff years.

But, for now, he makes for a wonderfully avid accidental sex-tourist.

Excellent costumes by Cherol Thibaut, with props to match by Peggy Knock. Long-time assistant director Deb Sclar re-ups with Schwartz for another tight show, though her usual partner in the assistant's spot, Marcia Meyer, is sadly absent this time. Superb dialects orchestrated by Nancy Bell. The show was nearly sold-out on Sunday, a pretty rare occurrence.

Through March 17, 2013, in Chesterfield Mall, second level, across the escalators from Sears, at I-64 and US Rt. 340 (Clarkson Rd.). For more information go to www.dramaticlicenseproductions.org or visit their page on Facebook.

Cast
Gloria: Deanna Mazdra
Bernard: Chad Morris
Berthe: Kim Furlow
Robert: John Reidy
Gabriella: Natasha Toro
Gretchen: Emily Baker

Crew
Director: Brad Schwartz
Assistant Director: Deb Sclar
Stage Manager: Johanna Beck
Technical Director/Carpenter: Mark Bedell
Scenic Designer/Painter: Scott Schoonover
Lighting Designer: Tony Anselmo
Costume Designer: Cherol Thibaut
Sound Designer: Joseph T. Pini
Properties Mistress: Peggy Knock
Properties Assistant: Nikki Lott
Dialect Coach: Nancy Bell


Photo: John Lamb


-- Richard T. Green

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