Before the curtain rose on Boeing Boeing our audience was given an introductory warning from Seattle Rep Artistic Director Jerry Manning, “Leave your brain at the door, this is pure comedy!” I was relieved. After a rough week, I was looking forward to letting my mind go and to be honest, I was in desperate need of some laughs. Boeing Boeing delivered on all accounts, the comedy was effortless and the story sweeps you up in its non-stop pace. All you can do is laugh.
Boeing Boeing tells the story of Bernard, a man who has mastered the art of polygamy. He has three different fiancés, from three different countries, all who happen to work as flight attendants for three different airlines. He manages to uphold each engagement without either of them finding out about one another. They are constantly on different schedules and Bernard keeps a detailed schedule of each woman’s whereabouts using flight patterns, timetables and 1960’s retro technology. His system seems to be flawless, until a storm rolls into town and leaves all three of his fiancés in town on the same night. Now all three expect to have a nice evening at home with the man they get to see so infrequently. Suddenly, Bernard must rely on his overworked maid and an old friend from school to help him save face.
You can tell just from the set that this show is going to be a lot of fun. Set Designer Carey Wong has created a interesting and playful space that perfectly houses this mad cap adventure. You can always tell that you are in for a comedic romp when there are an abundance of doors! I loved everything about the set, most especially the rotating home decor that changed depending on which woman was in the room. And I knew the second I found out that this show was set in the 60’s, that I would probably love the costumes. I am a sucker for costumes and when it comes to fashion, the 60’s are my favorite time period. Each character had a very distinct style, each reflective of the era but they looked comfortable and never cartoonish. Frances Kenny gets a standing ovation for her Costume Design.
What makes this show such a breath of fresh air is the perfectly cast ensemble of actors. Each portrays a brilliant character that is relatable, unique and painfully funny to watch. Stellar performances that stood out for me were from Cheyenne Casebier who played Gretchen, Bernard’s eccentric German fiancé and Mark Bedard as Robert, Bernard’s long lost friend from college who comes for a visit. Bedard attacked this role with an energy that could match that of the energizer bunny. He is moving almost non-stop from the second he steps on stage. Cheyenne enters and gives him a run for his money, together, they are impossible to ignore in the best way possible.
I absolutely suggest going to see this show. It is a smart, lighthearted, classic comedy at its best. The set is wonderful, the costumes are gorgeous, and the cast is hilarious. Put reality on hold for two hours and escape to 1960’s Paris, laugh and relax. If anything, by the end of the night when you go home you can think to yourself, “at least I’m not going home to try and juggle three fiancés at once.” And if, by some chance, you are in fact going home to juggle three fiancés at once…then this is definitely a show you will relate to.