In February, the HWS Theatre Department will stage a production of Marc Camoletti’s celebrated 20th century French farce “Boeing Boeing.”
Internationally translated and repeatedly revived, “Boeing Boeing” is one of the most performed plays in the history of French theatre. The show’s critical and commercial success dates back to the 1960s, when its initial English translation enjoyed a smash seven-year run in London. 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’s protagonist is 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 HWS production is directed by Assistant Professor of Theatre Chris Hatch with scenic and lighting design and technical direction by Bill Burd, sound design by Kelly Walker and costume design by Bekah Carey. The cast includes McDonald Theatre veterans Anika Hanson ’18, Margaret Hollister ’20 and Thomas Perry ’19 as well as three newcomers to the McDonald Theatre in Alexander Cohen ’20, Jenna Golden ’20 and Blake Morton ’20.
“This production is going to be a style of theatre that we haven’t seen on the HWS mainstage for quite some time,” says Hatch. “We’re going to have big, fun characters, we’re going to have a big, fun set, and we’re going to have big, fun laughs. 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!”
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.
“Boeing Boeing” will open 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.
Tickets for all productions can be purchased at the College Store; the Gearan Center for the Performing Arts, Office 202; 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 on the Theatre Program at HWS visit: http://www.hws.edu/academics/theatre/ or HWS Theatre Facebook’s page at: www.facebook.com/hwstheatre