"Boeing Boeing" at the Promethean: A Strong Ensemble Carries an Overrated Classic
In the Promethean's spirited revival of this '60s comedy by French playwright Marc Camoletti, a playboy architect named Bernard (Matthew William Chizever) has arranged his life around his three fiancées, all of whom are flight attendants on different international airlines — and none of whom knows the others exist.
He schedules their romantic rendezvous like clockwork — "one in the air, one on the ground, one pending," ensuring that they'll never meet. If you've seen a door-slamming farce before (the Promethean's snazzy art-deco bachelor pad has nine doors), you know exactly where this is headed, toward Bernard's inevitable comeuppance.
Margaret Ledford directs the play like the perpetual-motion machine that it is, but this oft-staged classic isn't as manic or zany as the best farces (think Lend Me a Tenor, Noises Off). A strong ensemble sells the familiar material with gusto and good humor. Chizever plays Bernard like an old Jack Lemmon archetype — flushed, flustered, and reaching the end of his tether. Rachel Lomax generates the most laughs as Bernard's Teutonic paramour, and Mark Duncan steals many scenes as his impossibly anxious estranged friend turned partner in crime. Only Sally Bondi, as Bernard's maid, fails to meet expectations, with an inconsistent French accent that leaves on a jet plane whenever it pleases.
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