TBT cast invites patrons to come fly with them
American ex-pat Bernard Lawrence thinks he’s living the dream. He’s snagged three fiances all airline stewardesses who lap up his attentions while visiting him between flights at his magnificent apartment overlooking Paris. Precision is the key, he says, as he ushers one beauty out the door just in time to throw his arms open wide for the next one arriving.
A major snag develops, however, when the airlines switch to a “super” Boeing plane that throws his finely tuned arrival/departure schedule off kilter. All three women, unaware of each other’s existence, end up at Bernard’s apartment simultaneously. Many meltdowns, door slams and criss-crossed paths later, Bernard realizes that maybe an international harem isn’t the best route to happiness after all.
Ultimately, what you end up with is “Boeing Boeing,” the new Thunder Bay Theatre comedy farce at its typical, situational funniest. Yes, the premise is ludicrous but that’s what makes it amusing that and the solid group of performers who currently are bringing the Tony-award winning show to life on the TBT stage.
Core company member Jeffrey Mindock aptly handles the role of Bernard, who’s a little too sure of himself in the beginning, but becomes totally frazzled by the end. Mindock displays both ends of that emotional spectrum with equal aplomb.
Newcomer Ty Cook, currently an intern with the core company, also brings a lot to the table as Bernard’s high school buddy, Robert, who arrives at the Parisian apartment just in time to run interference when the girls’ schedules collide. He’s tasked with helping to keep each girl from finding out about the other, which sometimes involves switching out their framed portraits and the unique wall art that reflects their countries of origin the United States, Italy and Germany.
Hometown actor Nick Hartman, donning by far the silliest costume of the whole show, amuses as the grumpy, heavily-accented maid, Berthe. It’s Berthe’s responsibility to fix all the native dishes preferred by Bernard’s bevy as well as clean up after everyone, and he/she is growing more than a little tired of the inherent stress.
Then there are the three stewardesses at the center of the whole farce, portrayed by company members Nickie Hilton and Amy Groen, along with company intern Puja Tolton.
Individually, the trio possess totally distinct personalities and accents. Their different airlines are reflected by their different uniforms done up in primary colors, each with a jaunty hat and a shoulder bag emblazoned with their airline logo. TBT rented the hat and bag accessories from another theatre company, and they add a nice touch to the overall production.
Groen plays the American, Gloria, who as it turns out may be equally adept at Bernard’s game. Tolton is the sometimes pouty, sometimes suspicious Italian stewardess, Gabriella. Hilton is the intense German stewardess who calls herself madly romantic with at times a marked emphasis on the “madly” part.
Director Kevin Reams kept the actors juggling their multiple exits and entrances as required. He also employed a nifty device for the opening curtain speech and a well-choreographed curtain call, both of which were in keeping with the airlines subject of the show.
Lots of attention also was given to the set, one of the better detailed ones in recent memory. Besides being visually appealing, it’s highly serviceable with its six doors that the aforementioned characters all spend a lot of time going in and out of as the show progresses.
Two more weeks of “Boeing Boeing” performances remain, with shows Oct. 24-27 and Oct. 31-Nov. 3. Show times are 7:30 p.m. Thursdays to Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays. For reservations, call the TBT box office at 354-2267.