by Lorraine Payette, written on July 2, 2013, photos by Mark Bergin
“Hi, I’m Gloria! Fly me!”
– National Airlines campaign, 1960s
(GANANOQUE, ONTARIO) The Springer Theatre took off for new heights on Saturday, June 29, with the opening of Boeing! Boeing!
A madcap French farce, filled with slapstick, multiple entendres, and the highest of humour, it zoomed through the evening in true “Coffee, Tea or Me?” fashion.
Bernard (Brett Christopher) has found what he believes to be the perfect life. In his stylish luxury apartment in Paris, he is indulging in female company. And oh, what company! Not content with the affections of just Gloria (Alison Deon), his shapely American blonde, he has decided to spice things up with fiery Italian Gabriella (Krista Colosimo) while adding some solidity in the earthy German Gretchen (Tess Degenstein). All three are airline hostesses and all three live with him in blessed ignorance of the others’ existence.
Wait a minute, they live together but don’t know about each other? Exactly!
Thanks to the marvels of extreme organization and a complete copy of the world’s airline schedules, Bernard has managed to keep two constantly in the air while cuddling the third, much to the chagrin of his long suffering maid, Bertha (Anita Wittenberg). And it all works marvellously until Robert (Kirk Smith) shows up and things start to fall apart…
“This production of ‘Boeing! Boeing!’ is a co-production with Western Canada Theatre in Kamloops, BC, where I am the artistic Director,” said Daryl Cloran, director of the play. “After the show closes here, it will travel to Kamloops to play as part of our season. This is truly a co-operative, national venture which features a cast and creative team from both BC and Ontario. I am very proud of this partnership and look forward to many more collaborations with the Thousand Islands Playhouse in the future.”
Written by Marc Camoletti, it was translated into English by Beverley Cross and revised by Francis Evans. It opened in London, England, in 1962 where it ran successfully for a number of years. The “Guinness Book of Records” named it the most performed French play in the world, and Paramount turned it into a film starring Tony Curtis, Jerry Lewis and Thelma Ritter. Wildly popular, it has been performed in several languages worldwide and is as funny today as it was when it was new.
“This show is great,” said Garry Dupuis, audience member from Kingston. “There’s a lot of slapstick and action, lots of slamming doors – a real romantic farce.”
His wife, Mary, agreed. “I think it’s great. It’s fun, it’s light-hearted, it’s really enjoyable. Makes for a nice evening out.”
And the rest of the audience concurred.
“This show is fabulous,” said Nancy Czyzewski from Brockville. “I’m amazed – it’s so much fun. I can’t wait to go home and start phoning people, tell them to come out and see this.”
“The stage setting, everything is just wonderful,” said her husband, Michael. “This is the perfect theatre for something like this. And it’s a wonderful show for everyone.”
Boeing! Boeing! runs at the Springer Theatre in Gananoque from June 29 – July 27. Show times are Tuesday through Saturday 8:00 pm, with matinees Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday at 2:30 pm (starting the Sunday after opening night). Tickets are $32 for adults, $30 for seniors age 65+, $16 for students. Group tickets are available at $26 – $28 each including GST. For more information, please contact the box office at 613-382-7020 or 1-866-382-7020 (long distance), or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org , or visit http://www.1000islandsplayhouse.com .