Entertainment :: Theatre

Boeing Boeing

by Christopher Verleger
Contributor
Thursday Jun 27, 2013
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The cast of the Granite Theatre’s production of ’Boeing Boeing,’ David LaRocque, Lisa Clough, Carrie Heise, Edward Bejamin, Christine Reynolds and Anna Armagno
The cast of the Granite Theatre’s production of ’Boeing Boeing,’ David LaRocque, Lisa Clough, Carrie Heise, Edward Bejamin, Christine Reynolds and Anna Armagno   (Source:Christine Corrigan)

The Granite Theatre kicks off the summer with a delightful production of "Boeing Boeing," French playwright Marc Camoletti’s 1962 farce about a proud playboy engaged to three stewardesses.

The suave Bernard (David LaRocque) lives in a bright, lavish Paris bachelor pad where he enjoys the company of women, so much so that three different ladies plan on marrying him, each with an engagement ring to prove it.

The audience is first introduced to Bernard as he bids farewell to Gloria (Carrie Heise), a sassy TWA flight attendant from America, strongly encouraging her to hurry so she won’t miss her plane.

Moments after Gloria departs, fiancĂ©e number two appears in the form of beautiful Italian stewardess, Gabriella (Lisa Clough). Also present to welcome Gabriella is Bernard’s houseguest, Robert (Ed Benjamin III), who is fascinated by -- and envious of -- his longtime friend’s ability to arrange his schedule with such plentiful activity.

Bernard’s revolving door of guests is not to the liking, however, of Bertha (Christine Reynolds), his flustered housekeeper who reluctantly yet dutifully changes the menu to match the ethnic origin of each guest.

LaRocque’s charming performance as the philandering Bernard is humorous and heartfelt, and Benjamin is magnificent as Robert, Bernard’s excitable, loyal friend.

Despite Bernard’s advance planning and Bertha’s assistance, calamity ensues when romantic interest number three, the high-strung, passionate Gretchen (Anna Armagno), arrives from Germany earlier than expected. Robert manages to prevent Gabriella and Gretchen from becoming acquainted, until Gloria, who flight returns to Paris due to bad weather, poses yet another challenge.

LaRocque’s charming performance as the philandering Bernard is humorous and heartfelt, and Benjamin is magnificent as Robert, Bernard’s excitable, loyal friend. Reynolds is especially amusing and steals several scenes from her co-stars as Bertha.

Both Heise and Clough are a delight to watch as Gloria and Gabriella, and Armagno’s animated portrayal of Gretchen stands out. All six actors navigate the stage with impressive comic timing where every nervous action and gesture serves its purpose to make the audience smile.

The laughs begin from the moment early on when Gloria leaves and Gabriella arrives soon thereafter, setting in motion of an amusing series of events, orchestrated perfectly by director Brian Olsen. The hilarious routine, as one lady enters and the other exits, is classic, old school comedy.

Although the eventual outcome is easy to predict, the waiting game of how long until Bernard gets caught is just plain fun.

"Boeing Boeing" runs through July 21 at The Granite Theatre, 1 Granite Street, Westerly. For tickets and info, call 401-596-2341 or visit The Granite Theatre’s website.

Chris Verleger is an avid reader, aspiring novelist and self-professed theater geek from Providence. Email cwverleger1971@yahoo.com.

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