You Should Be Going Going To Boeing-Boeing

Summer is the season for light comedy at the theater and Boeing-Boeing, the farce now running at Addison's WaterTower Theatre, will have your giggle muscles going boing-boing for two solid hours of funny.

It's a 1960s play, resuscitated successfully on Broadway three years ago, about one playboy (played here by handsome Ashley Wood) and his three flight attendant fiancées. Each of the girls thinks she's his one and only. He charts their travel schedules to prevent overlaps in their overnight visits to his Parisian flat. It's a beautiful system, much admired by the guy's best bachelor friend (Andy Baldwin), who drops by for a visit and stays for the hijinks.

The friend's a rube, amazed at the idea of a high-flying love life. But when bad weather and a new fleet of faster jets threaten to bring all the "trolley dollies" (that's what Brits once called them) to Paris on the same night, the fast and furiously funny games of hide and seek begin.

Director Robin Armstrong has choreographed the entrances, exits, clenches, clutches, kisses and slamming doors of this nonsense with split-second precision. The gorgeous apartment set (designed by Clare Floyd DeVries) has a touch of Don Draper in its sleek, elegant levels and its impressive art (the Mondrian upstage reflects the primary colors of the girls' vintage stewardess uniforms, which were designed and sewn by Armstrong). The four bedroom doors get quite a workout as the playboy nearly comes unhinged as his galpals parachute in one after another.

As the grumpy housekeeper (Lulu Ward) clomps in and out, trying to keep up with who's who and which dame is dining in or dashing out, the men work themselves into a fine frenzy. Each of the sexy ladies has her own comic style. As the Lufthansa German, Morgan McClure growls and poses like a lovely Olympic shot-putter, putting every well-timed gag in the right spot. As the Alitalia Italian, Emily Scott Banks is a kitten with a whipsmart eye for phony excuses. With her eyebrows penciled up to a Liz Taylor arch, Banks is gorgeous. Playing the American Southern belle, Sherry Hopkins is a steely-eyed magnolia who oozes sexy charm.

All the performances are big, broad and built to deliver every silly comic pay-off in a play that's about as complicated as an episode of The Love Boat. Andy Baldwin's high-energy turn as the naïve visitor sends him careening into the furniture and vaulting over handrails. Wood is funniest when his character finally loses his cool, pounding his forehead in frustration on the oriental carpet.

There are no bad seats in this 300-seat theater. So you'll be OK buying a tourist-class ticket for some first-cabin entertainment.

Boeing-Boeing continues through June 17 at WaterTower Theatre, Addison. Call 972-450-6232 for tickets.

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Elaine Liner
Contact: Elaine Liner