With the February premiere of Marc Camoletti’s celebrated 20th century French farce Boeing Boeing, the HWS Theatre Department offers “big, fun characters, a big, fun set, and big, fun laughs,” says Assistant Professor of Theatre Chris Hatch, who is directing the play. “This production is going to be a great way to escape the dreary winter weather for a few hours and, with performances happening just a few days after Valentine’s Day, this show is going to make for a great date night!”
Internationally translated and repeatedly revived, Boeing Boeing is one of the most performed plays in the history of French theatre. A cinematic adaptation starring Tony Curtis and Jerry Lewis premiered in 1965, and the most recent Broadway production won the Tony Award for Best Revival in 2008.
Set in 1960s Paris, the farce centers around Bernard, an ardent bachelor blithely juggling three charming airline stewardess fiancés whom he keeps from each other thanks to the help of airline timetables — until Boeing introduces a new, faster plane and all three stewardesses end up in Paris at the same time. With the help of a bumbling friend, Robert, and his cagey maid, Berthe, Bernard hilariously works to avoid any unintended turbulence.
The production features Thomas Perry ’19 as Bernard, Jenna Golden ’20 as Gabriella, Anika Hanson ’18 as Gloria, Blake Morton ’20 as Gretchen, Aaron Donahue ’18 as Robert and Gretty Hollister ’20 as Berthe.
In addition to the strength of the veteran actors, “we have a very strong group of first-year students this year,” Hatch says. “It’s always exciting to work with first years on a main stage show because you know that the experience they are getting in this production is laying the foundation. This work doesn’t just pay dividends for ‘Boeing Boeing,’ but for years to come over the next three years.”
Bill Burd is the scenic and lighting designer and technical director for Boeing Boeing, with Kelly Walker as sound designer and Bekah Carey as costume designer.
Boeing Boeing will run on Thursday and Friday, Feb. 16 and 17 at 7:30 p.m.; and on Saturday, Feb. 18 at 2 and 7:30 p.m.
The Friday night performance will also feature a Frame/Works event. The Frame/Works program connects scholarly examination and artistic practice as scholars present their research on a play, playwright, historical moment, genre or style in a pre-show lecture. Following the performance, audience members are invited to participate in a talkback with members of the cast and creative team. Together, the pre-show lecture and the post-show talkback, “frame” a “work” of theatrical art.
Tickets for all productions can be purchased at the College Store; the Gearan Center for the Performing Arts, Office 202, and at the Box Office from 2-4 p.m. M-F 2/6-2/17 ; and at Area Records on Seneca Street in the weeks leading up to each performance. A limited number of tickets will be available free to HWS students. All other tickets are $5. For more information visit the HWS Theatre Facebook’s page.