Boeing Boeing is a situational comedy about things that just wouldn’t happen now. Thanks to the internet, social media, and cell phones, the play, which originally debuted in 1960, is a look back on a time when one could lie a hell of a lot easier than one could now.
And that’s pretty much the basis. An immoral main character takes his innocent dippy sidekick on a journey into his life as a womanizer. Bernard (Jonathon Young), lives in Paris, and thanks to an insider, gets his picking of lonely stewardesses. Balancing three fiancees though (yes, they’re all engaged to him), is no small feat, and after an old friend Robert (Andrew McNee) comes to visit, he finds himself, with a little help from Berthe (Nicola Lipman) his French housekeeper, in close calls keeping the American, the Italian, and the German away from each other.
There was definitely enough laughs in this tale to keep the ball rolling, especially when breaking down, what seems to be a, sparce script, only counteracted by what I can assume is some reading between the lines thanks to a combination of David MacKay’s direction, and some talented comedic actors. Despite a slow first act, these major points kept it afloat.
Not to undermine the incredibly dry and on point humour of Nicola Lipman, which truly was one of the highlights of the show, but the crowd was perked up when Colleen Wheeler, who played the very manly and forceful German, Gretchen, entered and breathed new life onto the stage with a hysterical performance that only kept me wanting to see her more. Great physical humour and line delivery alike were also met with Andrew McNee’s Robert, who really was the string that kept everything together for two and a half hours. I had a little tickle of, oh this is gonna’ be good, when the lights went up on Act II and we were given the best scene in the play with Gretchen, Robert, and Berthe, all gems of the production.
Was it bang on in any way? Not really. But some creative direction and acting made Boeing Boeing all over enjoyable, and conquered on the comedy side of the PuSh Festival delivering more than what I expected, and giving everyone some fantastic chuckles about a time and place a little more simple and a lot more easily deceiving than our own.
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