Boeing-Boeing (play)

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Boeing-Boeing
Written by Marc Camoletti
Date premiered 10 December 1960
Place premiered Théâtre de la Comédie-Caumartin, Paris
Original language French
Subject “It all boils down to juggling timetables and a reliable maid who never forget to change the photographs”
Genre Comedy; farce
Setting Bernard's apartment, Paris, France

Boeing-Boeing is a classic farce written by the French playwright Marc Camoletti. The English language adaptation, translated 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.[1] In 1991, the play was listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the most performed French play throughout the world.

Synopsis[edit]

Characters[edit]

  • Bernard– a Parisian architect and lothario (turned into an American who resides in Paris in the most recent Broadway production)
  • Berthe– Bernard's French Housekeeper
  • Robert– Bernard's old school chum (from Wisconsin)
  • Jaqueline (or Gabriella)– the French fiancée (or the Italian fiancée)
  • Janet (or Gloria)– the American fiancée
  • Judith (or Gretchen)– the German fiancée

Synopsis[edit]

It’s the 1960s, and swinging bachelor Bernard couldn't be happier: a flat in Paris and three gorgeous stewardesses all engaged to him without knowing about each other. But Bernard’s perfect life gets bumpy when his friend Robert comes to stay and a new and speedier Boeing jet throws off all of his careful planning. Soon all three stewardesses are in town simultaneously, timid Robert is forgetting which lies to tell to whom, and catastrophe looms.

Productions[edit]

The play was first staged in London's West End at the Apollo Theatre in 1962 with David Tomlinson in the lead role and then transferred to the Duchess Theatre in 1965, running for a total of seven years.[1]

The play was produced on Broadway at the Cort Theatre from February 2, 1965, closing on February 20, 1965, after 23 performances.[2][3][4] Directed by Jack Minster, the cast included Ian Carmichael, Susan Carr, Diana Millay and Gerald Harper.

The play was also on in Blackpool at the South Pier during 1967 and featured Vicki Woolf, Dandy Nichols, Hugh Lloyd,AnnSidney and Christina Taylor.

The play was adapted by W!LD RICE production in Singapore in 2002. It was directed by Glen Goei, Glen and the company revisited, modernized, and relocated this classic comedy to Asia and the present day, whilst keeping faithful to the text and the spirit of the play. The three air hostesses's nationalities were changed to Singapore, Hong Kong and Japan. The show starred Lim Yu-Beng, Pam Oei, Emma Yong, Chermaine Ang, Sean Yeo & Mae Paner-Rosa.[5]

Boeing-Boeing was revived in London in February 2007 at the Comedy Theatre. It once again proved to be a hit with critics and audiences alike. The original cast of the production featured Roger Allam as Bernard, Frances de la Tour as Bertha, Mark Rylance as Robert, and Tamzin Outhwaite, Daisy Beaumont and Michelle Gomez as Bernard's three fiancées, Gloria, Gabriella and Gretchen. This production received two Olivier Award nominations, for Best Revival and Best Actor (Mark Rylance), but won neither.[6] Elena Roger later took on the role of Gabriela.

Warchus also directed the 2008 Broadway revival, which started previews on April 19, 2008 and opened on May 4 at the Longacre Theatre to good reviews.[7] The cast featured Christine Baranski as Berthe, Mark Rylance, reprising his role as Robert, Bradley Whitford as Bernard, Gina Gershon as Gabriella, Mary McCormack as Gretchen and Kathryn Hahn as Gloria. The curtain call of this revival was choreographed by Kathleen Marshall with original music by Claire van Kampen.[8] The production closed on January 4, 2009, after 279 performances and 17 previews.[9] A 45-week North American tour began in Fall 2009.[10] The production won the Best Revival of a Play and Rylance won the Tony Award for Best Leading Actor. The production was nominated for several other Tony Awards including: Best Featured Actress (Mary McCormack), Best Director (Matthew Warchus), Best Costume Design (Rob Howell) and Best Sound Design (Simon Baker). The production won the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Revival of a Play, and Mark Rylance won for lead actor in a play.[11] A current production directed by Dennis Začek[12] is at Drury Lane Theatre in Oak Brook Terrace, IL[13] and stars Nora Dunn as Berthe (as it is rendered in the program), Stef Tovar[14] as Bernard, and Dan Cantor[15] as Robert, who is a rube from Wisconsin in this Chicago area production. The stewardesses are Gloria in red from TWA, played by Kara Zediker, Gabriella in blue from Alitalia played by Dina DiConstanzo,[16] and Gretchen in yellow from Lufthansa played by Katherine Keberlein.[17]

2007 West End revival[edit]

Dates Bernard Berthe Robert Gabriella Gloria Gretchen
Feb-May 2007 Roger Allam Frances de la Tour Mark Rylance Daisy Beaumont Tamzin Outhwaite Michelle Gomez
May-Jun 2007 Patricia Hodge Amy Nuttall
Jun-Oct 2007 Adrian Dunbar Rhea Perlman Neil Stuke Elena Roger Doon Mackichan
Oct 2007-Jan 2008 Kevin McNally Jean Marsh Jennifer Ellison Tracy-Ann Oberman
UK Tour Dec 2008-Apr 2009 Martin Marquez Susie Blake John Marquez Thaila Zucchi Sarah Jayne Dunn Josephine Butler

2008 Broadway[edit]

Dates Bernard Berthe Robert Gabriella Gloria Gretchen
April 2008 Bradley Whitford Christine Baranski Mark Rylance Gina Gershon Kathryn Hahn Mary McCormack
Sept 9, 2008 Greg Germann Missi Pyle
Oct. 7, 2008 Rebecca Gayheart Paige Davis

[18]

Adaptations[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Mervyn Rothstein (8 June 2008). "Flying High". Playbill. Retrieved 2008-11-04. 
  2. ^ Louis Calta, "New Directors for Lincoln Rep," New York Times, 31 January 1965
  3. ^ Howard Taubman, "Theater: 'Boeing-Boeing' at the Cort," New York Times, 3 February 1965
  4. ^ John Chapman, "It's Jet-Age, but French Farce Isn't," Chicago Tribune, 4 February 1965
  5. ^ "Boeing-Boeing". Wild Rice Theatre Company. 2002. Retrieved 2008-11-04. 
  6. ^ "Boeing Boeing London theatre tickets and information". thisistheatre.com. 23 October 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-04. 
  7. ^ Ben Brantley (5 May 2008). "Up, Up and Away (and Watch Those Swinging Doors". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-08-11. 
  8. ^ Elyse Sommer (8 May 2008). "Boeing, Boeing Flies Its Daffy Lovers to Broadway". Curtainup. Retrieved 2008-11-04. 
  9. ^ Boeing-Boeing at the Internet Broadway Database
  10. ^ Kenneth Jones (2 December 2008). "Grounded! Hit Boeing-Boeing Will Close Jan. 4, 2009; Tour Planned". Playbill. Retrieved 2008-12-04. 
  11. ^ Lawrence Van Gelder (19 May 2008). "Drama Desk Awards". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-08-11. 
  12. ^ "Dennis Zacek Interview". YouTube. 28 November 2011. Retrieved 2013-08-06. 
  13. ^ "Drury Lane Theatre & Conference Center". Retrieved 2013-08-06. 
  14. ^ Stef Tovar at the Internet Movie Database
  15. ^ "Daniel Cantor, Department of Theatre". Northwestern University School of Communication. Retrieved 2013-08-06. 
  16. ^ "Dina DiCostanzo". Retrieved 2013-08-06. 
  17. ^ Katherine Keberlein at the Internet Movie Database
  18. ^ Jones, Kenneth."Two New Stews: Davis and Gayheart to Climb Aboard Broadway's Boeing", playbill.com, Sept. 29, 2008

Further reading[edit]

  • Camoletti, Marc; Mithois, Marcel (1961). Boeing-boeing. Avant-scène no. 240 (in French). Paris: L'Avant-scène. pp. 46 pp. OCLC 56696680. 

External links[edit]