Theater patrons can travel back to the days of classic romantic comedy with the Old Globe's Tony Award-winning farce, "Boeing-Boeing." The hilarious charade involves Bernard (Rob Breckenridge), an airline pilot who has his life planned so well that he's engaged to three women. Will he need a parachute to face his final leap into thin air? Find out when "Boeing-Boeing" runs March 13–April 18 in the Globe Theatre.
The original 1960s farce, written in French by Marc Camoletti, made a 1962 London premiere. While the New York production ran for only days, the London production ran for seven years. Mark Schneider, director of "Boeing-Boeing" and who was the associate director on Matthew Warchus' Tony Award-winning revival of "Boeing-Boeing" and directed its 2008 UK tour, thinks the Globe patrons will find the show highly amusing.
"It's the story of the Tortoise and the Hare," Schneider said. "Bernard is a Buster Keaton, Stan Laurel, Ralph Kramden-type guy who has a can't-miss scheme, but the audience is ahead of him. He believes he can remain engaged to three women with no problem, but nature intercedes. Schedules change, and the girls show up at different times than expected."
Making a romantic comedy work requires a well-written script with great repartee. Marc Camoletti and Beverly Cross have stepped up to the plate with their amusing adaptation. A believable story must also have a seasoned cast able to deliver the goods. Schneider is excited by his cast.
"It's an excellent group," Schneider said. "Ron has been very active in New York theater and he's from a small town in Michigan, so he's able to draw from the experience. Nancy Robinette, who plays Berthe, was recently seen in the Globe's 'The Savannah Disputation.' She's a go-to actor who works all the time."
Berthe is the maid who works for Bernard but finds herself becoming the reluctant romantic traffic controller. She's at her wits end trying to keep the farce going. The cast also includes Stephanie Fieger (Gabriella), Caralyn Kozlowski (Gretchen), Liv Rooth (Gloria) and Joseph Urla (Robert). Rob Howell's Tony-nominated costumes, and set design, are featured in the Globe production.
Schneider compares the story to "The Honeymooners," where collisions are constantly set up that the characters are unaware of.
"This keeps patrons on the edge of their seats and filled with anxiety all night long," he said. "The audience is actually on the ride with Bernard, and what happens results in continuous laughter and nothing but fun throughout the show."
You may remember the 1965 film-version of 'Boeing Boeing.' It starred Tony Curtis, Jerry Lewis and Thelma Ritter.
- Where: The Old Globe Theatre, 1363 Old Globe Way, Balboa Park
- When: Previews: 8 p.m. March 13 and 7 p.m. March 14, 16, 17; performances: 7 p.m. Tuesdays-Wednesdays, 8 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays, 2 p.m. Saturdays-Sundays; 7 p.m. Sundays, through April 18
- Tickets: $29-$77; (619) 23-GLOBE,