Produced by: San Jose Stage Company
Directed by: Kenneth Kelleher
Featuring: Joshua Hollister, Courtney Hatcher, Celia Maurice, Michael Barrett Austin, Halsey Varady, Allison F. Rich
Running time: 120 minutes, one intermission
When: April 6 through May 1, 2016
Where: San Jose Stage Company, 490 South First Street, San Jose
Tickets: $30-$65 (discounts available). Call 1-408-283-7142 visit www.thestage.org.
in San Jose Stage production
Any play that starts with beautiful Courtney Hatcher bouncing out on stage in bare feet and bare legs, Go-Go dancing with a big smile on her face while wearing only a bath towel, cannot be ignored.
Attention must be paid.
True, it might not work for "A Long Day's Journey Into Night" or "Death of a Salesman," but for "Boeing Boeing," a silly French farce with all the weight of a Champagne bubble, it was delightful.
Hatcher plays Gloria, an American stewardess for TWA, who thinks she is the one and only fiancée of Bernard, an American architect living in Paris.
Allison F. Rich plays Gretchen, the German Lufthansa stewardess who also thinks she is Bernard's one and only fiancée.
Halsey Varady plays Gabriella, the Italian stewardess for Alitalia, who thinks she is Bernard's one and only fiancée.
Bernard is played by Joshua Hollister, who has just enough oiliness as he explains to his old friend Robert, who has just dropped in from Wisconsin, that it all depends on the women working for different airlines, and on his precious book of airline schedules.
Breakfast with Gloria, then see her off to America just in time for lunch with Gretchen, who must depart just in time for dinner with Gabriella.
None of the three women know about each other. Each of them is strikingly beautiful and sexy.
Most of the first act is some kind of male fantasy acted out in glorious, if PG-13, detail. Gorgeous women, lots of kissing.
To Robert, played by Michael Barrett Austin, it is at first scandalous, but he warms to it quickly enough, and gets deeply involved in the subterfuge as Bernard's careful planning begins to unravel, as it must.
Among other things, two of the women share kisses with him, and their responses to his warm Wisconsin lips are pretty funny. Over the top, but that works in farce.
Also on hand is the excellent Celia Maurice as Berthe, the French maid who is the queen of sardonic rejoinders. She earns a lot of laughs including the play's biggest laugh and was the most enthusiastically applauded at curtain call.
The first act was fun, but the second act, making a lot of use of the seven doors in scenic designer Giulio Cesare Perrone's 1960s-era set, was a laugh riot.
The three young air hostesses are all great fun. Hatcher, as the American, seems so sweet at first, but she is definitely palming some cards. Rich is a physical powerhouse, exercising in front of Rob in such a way to make him drool. Varady is powerfully emotional, quick to anger and definitely the one of whom the boys are most scared.
They all have scenes in their stewardess uniforms and in bath towels. Varady also gets to wear a stunningly beautiful blue cocktail dress that is a knockout in all ways. Costume design by Abra Berman.
Cliff Caruthers brings a fun selection of tunes from the 1960s and '70s. For instance, Hatcher's entrance is to "Come Fly With Me."
Director Kenneth Kelleher does a fine job keeping everybody moving with the needed timing, especially in the second act, when the audience is fully aware that disaster hangs on the slightest misstep.
Oddly enough, there is a happy, and funny, ending.
Email John Orr at firstname.lastname@example.org