The 1960s was a time when many social revolutions were born, including the rebirth of female empowerment. “Boeing Boeing” shows the lives of three air hostesses—a job for women no longer expected to stay at home, have babies and to do as they are told. The three women live in ignorant bliss as none of them know they are engaged to the same man, Bernard, an American architect who happens to live conveniently close to the Orly Airport in Paris.
This farce production begins with Bernard getting a visit from his friend Robert on the same day all three fiancees are expected to fly in. Bernard explains to Robert the crooked logic of three fiancees; triple the fun with only a promise of marriage to keep them around. When the new speedy Boeing airplanes ruin the perfect schedule to keep the women separated, Bernard, Robert and the maid Berthe struggle to make things picture perfect, with many slamming doors and close calls.
Phil Baugh handsomely plays the part of Bernard, a charming and promiscuous frat boy type. Jeffery Bigger’s Robert, whose spastic and frantic attempts to cover for Bernard, gave the audience the most laughs at the absurdity of this play.
Cheryl King, also the director, costume and sound designer of the production, plays Berthe, an impassive and sassy maid who has a thankless job of keeping Bernard’s debauchery in order. Her prominent sarcasm was a favorite aspect of the play.
The three other women of the show are Gloria, played by Alexandra Bunger-Pool, a pushy American TWA hostess; Gretchen, played by Elizabeth Baugh, the cheeky German of Lufthansa; and the very Italian of AirItalia Gabriella, played by Sarah Paul-Glitch—all three head over heels in love with Bernard. These ladies put on an exuberant performance, playing into the confidence of a worldly stewardess, as well as their humorous and over the top accents.
King’s design of vibrant and flattering stewardess costumes and menswear gives the audience a real feel of the elegant fashion of the `60s. Her sound design brings the emotion of 20th century France, including numbers such as “Sous le ciel de Paris” by Edith Piaf.
Michael Gorgan designed a set that was simple yet nostalgic and chic, complete with vintage Life magazines and retro furniture. The several doors of the Bernard’s apartment added to the comedy and chaos of trying to keep the three finacees from seeing each other.
Although there was a slight lack of a climax in the story, the play has a good dose of raunchy humor and a surprisingly happy ending.
“They say that good direction starts with good casting,” said director Cheryl King. “And in the case of this play, I lucked out.”
“Boeing Boeing” is playing at the Bas Bleu Theatre Company of Fort Collins now through June 25. For more information, visit basbleu.org
Collegian Reporter Sarah Ehrlich can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @SarahEhrlich96.