2/12/12: Boeing-Boeing @ Hartford Stage

This touring play, now though w/ its run at Hartford Stage, is a fine comedy – a period piece which takes place in the mid-60’s and features the tale of Bernard, a businessman in Paris, who’s engaged to three different women – all sexy 60’s paradigm stewardesses – unbeknownst to them. He can manage this because “the airline timetables”. His fiances are: Gloria, a ditzy blond American; Gabriella, a tall sexy Italian; and Gretchen, a huge androgenous German woman.

He’s aided by his short, rotund, middle-aged French maid & cook, Berthe. She’s responsible for changing the portrait when a new girl arrives, cleaning up, setting up & redecorating the bedrooms to accomodate their color schemes which match that of their airlines, and cooking to their specific tastes. This last duty is difficult and frustrating to her since their tastes are so varied – Gloria is fond of pancakes w/ ketchup, or as Berthe calls it, “red stuff”; Gabrielle enjoys gourmet food, which Berthe loves cooking; and Gretchen loves frankfurters, another irritation for her.




Soon Bernard is visited by a nerdy old college pal, Robert. He’s from Wisconsin, and while Bernard is part of the sexual revolution representing the changing 60’s, Robert is the old-fashioned, dumpy & conservative character representing the diminishing 50’s. W/ the changes in lifestyle, however, come changes in technology, and Bernard is soon in a panic as the timetables are changing w/ the new faster jets.

The play takes place over one 24 hour period. And as bad luck would have it, all three fiances were going to be there simultaneously. Of course, mayhem ensues. The show is very funny, w/ great lines from all 6 characters. Berthe is especially delightful. She steals the show. The performance was most definitely worth of the $26.50, 4th row on the stage floor tickets we reserved as Boeing-Boeing’s Hartford Stage special limited ticketing program. Just this last performance, a matinée, was included in that price and only a couple dozen seats or so were available for that price.

The one drawback on this play is that it’s about 2 hr 45 min’s of extended time long in 2 acts. However, there is almost nothing I can think of better to do on a Sunday in February. Cindy & I truly enjoyed it. We’ve been blessed w/ some great plays so far this year. This was our 4th, along w/ Priscilla Queen of the Desert and Chinglish on Broadway, and The Sty of the Blind Pig at TheaterWorks, Hartford. Boeing was the worst of the bunch and Sty was the best. If you get a chance to see Sty, DO IT! It’s brilliant (http://www.theaterworkshartford.org/content/current.html), albeit expensive, and runs through February 26.

An added bonus at Hartford Stage was Barry Sellers: My Brilliant Career, an exhibit of costumes created by the master draper. There were perhaps 10 of his costumes, all but one are dresses, located throughout the lobby areas of the theater w/ a storyboard explaining each.


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