Monday, September 22, 2008

Boeing, Boeing: Non-Stop Fun

Friday night, my friend Camilla and I went to see “Boeing, Boeing,” playwright Marc Camoletti’s madcap farce about an architect in Paris juggling three flight attendant fiancées at the same time. “Boeing, Boeing” debuted back in 1960 and it’s easy to see why this delightful romp became the Guinness Book of World Records most performed French play worldwide.

Greg Germann, best known for playing eccentric Richard Fish on “Ally McBeal,” is charming as playboy Bernard, while his three leading ladies also bring their comedic A-game. Gina Gershon adds sass and spunk to her portrayal of fiery Gabriella, Missi Pyle is a force of nature as tempestuous Gretchen and Kathryn Hahn is hilarious as flighty and amorous Gloria.

All Smiles: Christine Baranski (Berthe) and Kathryn Hahn (Gloria)
in "Boeing, Boeing"

But it is Mark Rylance and Christine Baranski, whose characters are charged with keeping the multiple fiancées from crossing paths, who garner the most laughs. Baranski’s comic timing is perfect as Berthe, Bernard’s beleaguered, caustic housekeeper. Rylance steals the show as Bernard’s high-strung, hapless best friend, Robert.

At one point, Robert considers the possibility of having his own harem of flight attendants. I couldn’t help thinking about a recent evening when I did some juggling of my own and, for the first time, double booked.

I went from drinks with one guy at a chic Champagne bar to dinner with another at an intimate Italian bistro in Hell’s Kitchen. While I wouldn’t make a habit of back to back dates, the intrigue of doing so reminded me that when it comes to being single, variety truly is the spice of life.

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