I want to add my voice to the chorus that’s singing the praises of Boeing-Boeing, the French farce that’s running at the Stanley until February 24.
The premise is pretty offensive—and no, that’s not a given with a farce. The show is set in the ’60s and a swinging Parisian architect named Bernard is screwing three stewardesses, as they used to be called. Flight schedules land each of the women in Paris on different days, so he figures he’s got a sweet deal going—until the airlines introduce faster planes.
Clearly, Bernard is a prick, but I let that go as the comic madness started to snowball. Director David Mackay has directed this show beautifully, starting with the casting. Everybody in the cast rocks. I’ve never seen Moya O’Connell create a character anything like the Italian bombshell Gabriella (Alitalia). Colleen Wheeler’s Gretchen (Lufthansa) is a sexually voracious Valkyrie. And the guys are hilarious. Jonathan Young’s Bernard is more or less the straight man—until Bernard starts to panic, at which point he turns into Wile E. Coyote. Andrew McNee plays Bernard’s friend, Robert, who drops in from the American Midwest. As Bernard’s house of cards threatens to collapse, Robert is the guy who has to keep propping it up. He’s the character at the centre of the show and McNee creates side-splittingly funny comic business.
The sleek, stylin’ set is by Amir Ofek and Nancy Bryant designed the costumes. The stewardesses’ outfits are delicious.
I took a 14-year-old pal. When we were entering the theatre, she asked what the show was about. I told her it was a French sex farce and she replied, “What are you doing?” But she loved it.