Last night my wife Celeste and I were invited to Boeing Boeing at the Longacre Theater in New York City. And right from "takeoff", this 1960's comedy revival aims to please my friends. I wanted to see the show when I heard it was going to play Broadway because it had Bradley Whitford and Christine Baranski playing in the show.
You may not realize this but Boeing Boeing did very well in London in the 1960's yet only played to a handful of audiences on Broadway in 1965. This time around I believe Boeing Boeing will be playing a very long run and please allow me to tell you why.
Boeing Boeing is a very cute and extremely funny story about an architect living in Paris who for quite some time has been juggling relationships with 3 gorgeous flight attendants that are all his "fiances". The play was written by Marc Camoletti, the author of more than 40 plays during his lifetime. Matthew Warchus does a superb job directing this comedy and Rob Howell has done a very lovely staging of the scenic design as well as the costumes for this production.
The architect is named Bernard, played by Mr. Whitford, who most recently has been seen on television in Studio 60 and won an Emmy Award for playing Josh Lyman in the 7 year run of The West Wing. Years ago he had a successful engagement in A Few Good Men on Broadway. You know, its kind of funny I think as I often wondered why his West Wing character seemed to be cracking lots of jokes all the time on the TV show and while watching him on stage last night, I now know why he added all that comedy to his role as The West Wing's Chief of Staff character. He is indeed quite funny in this show.
Sharing the stage is Mark Rylance, who plays the very straight laced "old school friend" Robert who comes to visit all the way from Wisconsin (where apparently nothing interesting ever goes on in his life). Mr. Rylance is the former director of Shakespeare's Globe Theater from 1996 through 2006) and he is one of the two key elements needed to run "air traffic control" along with Christine Baranski, the housekeeper, as they both try desperately to help Bernard keep the 3 girlfriends from finding out about each other. Ms. Baranski is a graduate of Julliard's drama division, has won several Tony Awards, done lots of film and can be seen soon in the upcoming movie Mamma Mia!.
Even though the girls all work for different airlines and are supposed to be on very different schedules for work and "play time" with Bernard, we all know that flights do get cancelled, planes do encounter weather problems and all of a sudden, Bernard's perfect little international "harem" seems to be about to come crashing down... right on top of him.
The 3 flight attendant girlfriends are played very capably by Gina Gershon, who plays Gabriella. Gina has been on Broadway in Cabaret and most recently in her one-woman show, In Search of Cleo. Gina has done many films and has several TV credits as well. Gina is extremely funny in this role and quite beautiful to look at as well. Kathryn Hahn plays Gloria who is making her Broadway debut in this show but has done many films, some television and numerous theatre productions outside of New York. She is very funny and very beautiful. Mary McCormack plays Gretchen, who has been seen playing Sally Bowles in Cabaret on Broadway, was in the original cast of "Bash" in London has done a good amount of Off Broadway theater as well as allot of television and film. This summer, Mary will play a starring role in USA Network's new series "In Plain Sight". Mary, like her "co-fiances" does a superb job, has great comedic timing, is a natural beauty as well.
The girls all come in and out of different bedrooms in Bernard's bachelor pad all during the plays entire duration, just split-seconds apart from discovering one another. Again, their comedic timing is terrific and even though they all have very funny material to work with, they're individual styles all seem to compliment one another. You simply want to laugh at everything they do as well as you "pray" for the guys on stage with every opening and closing of each bedroom door.
The next time you decide on an evening of pure fun at the theater, I hope you choose to see Boeing Boeing. I'm not a critic, but I cannot imagine this very funny comedy getting anything but "rave reviews" when it opens on Broadway next week.
If you need help getting tickets for this show or if we can be helpful in any way, we hope you'll give us a call in New York at 212-307-7050 or toll free at 800-451-9930. We're here to help you with your theater choices or can simply give you the information to assist in your decision making.
See you soon theater friends.
Applause Theatre Service
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