Reviewed by Dana Martin
Through October 21st
Justin Joseph and Kenny Toll in Boeing Boeing at the Little Fish Theatre. (Photo by Mickey Elliott)
It’s the 60’s, baby. The girls are flying high, and when they’re away, the boys will play. Three fiancés, one apartment, a surly maid and an idiotic friend equals lots of kissing, room switching and near-missing. Marc Camoletti’s Boeing Boeing touches down at the Little Fish Theatre as an outlandishly misogynistic romp through the perils and pitfalls of infidelity.
Slick bachelor Bernard (Kenny Toll), is engaged to Gloria (Julia Elk). And, it just so happens, he’s also engaged to Gabriella (Andria Kozica). And Gretchen (Bridget Garwood). The unsuspecting women are all flight attendants, so at least he’s consistent. He has a careful orchestration of flight paths, schedules and time zones, making sure the women only cross paths in the sky. Not creepy at all. A storm’s a-brewin’ as unwitting accomplice Robert arrives, and the lady’s paths are unexpectedly altered as a ridiculous comedy of errors ensues.
Kenny Toll provides the right kind of boyish cockiness and naivete as everyone’s favorite womanizer, Bernard. Justin Joseph provides great energy as the put-upon house guest-turned- conspirator Robert, swinging between suave and frantic throughout. Julia Elk plays robust Gloria from Texas with high energy and southern warmth. She is the only character in the play that gets what she wants. Andria Kozica brings a sweetness and warmth as Italian Gabriella, and the only fiancé with an authentic relationship with Bernard. She’s suspicious but lenient, never fully unleashing the wrath of her temper Bernard so rightfully deserves. Bridget Garwood is larger-than-life as Gretchen, the fiery German. Kathryn Farren shines as french maid and reluctant accomplice Berthe. Farren is a delight, and her clear sense of humor and timing is underutilized throughout.
It would have been interesting to see how far the physical comedy could extend. Director Cylan Brown misses an opportunity to get the most out of the play’s farcical quality. Because the circumstances are improbable and outlandish, the lead characters have no real redeeming qualities (save their charm), the audience hopes to laugh at slapstick stupidity. Set designer Angeline Sandoval provides a sophisticated apartment with many doors and obstacles for the characters to trample through. Costume design by Olivia Schlueter-Corey provided appropriate sense of place and bright pops of color.
There’s an obvious chemistry between the cast that makes up for an otherwise flaccid script. It’s just sexy funny stupid fun. Re-route your schedule and make your way to the Little Fish Theatre, and quickly: Boeing Boeing flys away October 21st.
Boeing Boeing at the Little Fish Theatre, 777 Centre St, San Pedro; for tickets call (310) 512-6030 or visit littlefishtheatre.org. Wed. and Thurs. at 8 p.m. Through October 21st.