Translated by Beverly Cross & Francis Evans
Directed by Dennis Zacek
At Drury Lane Theatre, Oakbrook Terrace
Funny classic French farce expertly acted with spot-on comic timing
Despite being a tad dated, Boeing Boeing is still a crowd pleaser comedic farce. When you enter Drury Lane Theatre’s space, you’ll see a 60’s style room adorned with eight doors (set design by Sam Ball). That usually means a madcap door-slamming farce. With Marc Camoletti’s wildly funny farce, terrific performances fuel an honest rendition of the farce format.
Bernard (the hyper Stef Tovar), a jet-setting architect who believes that happiness comes from having three flight-attendant fiancees, each living in his Paris flat on alternating days due to their international flight schedule. When TWA – Gloria (Kara Zediker) is home, Lufthansa – Gretchen (Katherine Keberlein) and Alitalia – Gabriella (Dina DiConstanzo) are traveling. When one leaves, the next one arrives. Bernard, with the help of his loyal maid Berthe (the fabulous Nora Dunn), has all the schedules in his notebook thus assuring him of no slip-ups. He sure enjoys three beautiful and sexy ladies. Life is good!
However, when his old college pal Robert (Daniel Cantor) arrives from Wisconsin and the airlines start using the latest Boeing aircraft, Bernard’s system is threatened. Robert is a nerdy single guy in search of love and marriage. Bernard presents his three lady scheme, Robert is intrigued. Robert and Berthe becoming involved when a snowstorm and the speed of the new aircraft drastically change the attendant’s schedule thus screwing up Bernard’s schedule.
The result is a manic whirlwind of mayhem that produces many laughs and constantly keeps us guessing as to what will happen next. The writing is scrip, smart and clever. The cast is wonderful with their timing as each character exhibits their own peculiar traits that makes them unique and empathetic. We cheer for Bernard as Stef Tovar exudes as a nice-guy even as he is a bit of a rascal. Nora Dunn steals some scenes with her awesome comic timing. Each of the ladies have their moments but this farce is really Daniel Cantor’s show. As the nerdy Robert, Cantor has the tough task of helping cover up and explain away much of the decitiful antics that Bernard’s plans necessitates. He is instrumental in saving Bernard from embarrassment while also gaining some love experiences. He is a hoot in this show! All the players learn lessons from the romp. We enjoy this well-oiled comic machine as the laughs keep coming. Director Dennis Zacek keeps the action tight and the flow brisk. It is delightful to see such a fine cast putting everything them have into the material. The result is a comic treat.
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For more info checkout the Boeing Boeing page at theatreinchicago.com
At Drury Lane Theatre, Oakbrook Terrace, IL, call 630-530-0111, www.drurylane.com, tickets $35 -$45 – $49, Wednesdays at 1:30 pm, Thursdays at 1:30 & 8 pm, Fridays at 8pm, Saturdays at 5 & 8:30 pm, Sundays at 2 pm, running time is 2 hours, 25 minutes with intermission, through August 4, 2013