The Pittsburgh CLO, recently welcomed “Boeing Boeing” to the roster of performances for their finger-snapping, jazz-styled theater. The most successful play of French playwright, Marc Camoletti, “Boeing Boeing” follows the indiscretions of Bernard (Tony Bingham), a playboy with a hankering for the various delicacies of foreign tail. A German, American, and Italian, to be specific.
Bernard, blazing a trail of type A paperwork, is engaged to three women, who all happen to work for different airlines as flight attendants. He has their flight schedules down to a tee, as he clings to a sociopathic system of time tables logged in his book of infidelity.
Eventually, hell freezes over, and the floodgates of penance open, placing all three women at his apartment at the same time. Robert (Connor McCanlus), Bernard’s long-lost, not-so-close friend, is thrust into a world of numbers and flight times as the debauchery disintegrates into the longest episode of “Frasier” I’ve ever seen. As we all might anticipate, Bernard’s plans are bound to falter, but there’s always a silver lining for the sleazy, according to this production.
Kudos to the Set Designer, Tony Ferrieri, and Lighting Designer, Scott Nelson, for the magnificently posh and retro swinger’s palace worthy of Dirk Diggler himself.
Connor McCanlus as Robert delivered a fun and energetic performance. He tactfully laced well-formed composure amongst the toil and strife created for him, all the while gently manipulating the situation for his ultimate gain. Seemingly spineless, he transforms into a megalomaniac right before our very eyes. McCanlus rolled out a litany of well-timed quips that kept the audience afloat with laughter.
Kelly Trumbull starred as the fiery Italian fiancé, Gabriella. Ripe with expectation, she was hell-bent on converting her engagement into a wedding. Inherently suspicious of her situation with Bernard, she presses for answers and commitment. Trumbull’s Italian accent was spot-on, and her flippant rage was something to be feared. Out of the three flight attendants, her character was the most authentically endearing.
Lisa Ann Goldsmith stole the show as Gretchen, Bernard’s tall glass of German water. Loud, angry, and passionate about being passionate. The physicality of Goldsmith’s role gleamed throughout. Verbose and violent, her character commanded respect, but was frightfully indecisive as her feelings waxed and waned. Goldsmith transformed the stage with her character representation.
Overall, “Boeing Boeing” is an entertaining play. The physical humor and timing improve through the second act and create a relatively jovial atmosphere for the audience.
The plot showed promise, but the execution seemed to lack velocity, and never truly reached a cruising altitude of unabashed enjoyment. There were glimmers of genuine synergy, but the back and forth fodder became tepid at times.
While far from perfect, “Boeing Boeing” will keep you snickering, and add a fine compliment to a night out on the town.
“Boeing Boeing” runs through April 26th. For more information on tickets and showtimes, visit the CLO.
For a full cast list, click here