|Written by Marc Camoletti|
Original language French
Playwright Marc Camoletti
|Date premiered 10 December 1960|
First performance 10 December 1960
Composer Claire van Kampen
|Place premiered Comédie-Caumartin, Paris|
Subject “It all boils down to juggling timetables and a reliable maid who never forgets to change the photographs.”
Characters Gabriella, Bertha, Bernard, Robert, Gloria, Gretchen
Similar Farce plays, Other plays
Boeing-Boeing is a classic farce written by the French playwright Marc Camoletti. The English language adaptation, translated by Beverley Cross, was first staged in London at the Apollo Theatre in 1962 and transferred to the Duchess Theatre in 1965, running for a total of seven years. In 1991, the play was listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the most performed French play throughout the world.
It’s the 1960s, and swinging bachelor Bernard couldn't be happier: a flat in Paris and three gorgeous stewardesses all engaged to him without knowing about each other. But Bernard’s perfect life gets bumpy when his friend Robert comes to stay and a new and speedier Boeing jet throws off all of his careful planning. Soon all three stewardesses are in town simultaneously, timid Robert is forgetting which lies to tell to whom, and catastrophe looms.
The English version of the play was first staged in London's West End at the Apollo Theatre in 1962 with David Tomlinson in the lead role and then transferred to the Duchess Theatre in 1965, running for a total of seven years.
The play was produced on Broadway at the Cort Theatre from February 2, 1965, closing on February 20, 1965, after 23 performances. Directed by Jack Minster, the cast included Ian Carmichael, Susan Carr, Diana Millay and Gerald Harper.
The play was also on in Blackpool at the South Pier during 1967 and featured Vicki Woolf, Dandy Nichols, Hugh Lloyd, Ann Sidney and Christina Taylor.
The play was adapted by W!LD RICE production in Singapore in 2002. It was directed by Glen Goei, Glen and the company revisited, modernized, and relocated this classic comedy to Asia and the present day, whilst keeping faithful to the text and the spirit of the play. The three air hostesses's nationalities were changed to Singapore, Hong Kong and Japan. The show starred Lim Yu-Beng, Pam Oei, Emma Yong, Chermaine Ang, Sean Yeo & Mae Paner-Rosa.
Boeing-Boeing was revived in London in February 2007 at the Comedy Theatre in a production directed by Matthew Warchus. Once again the play proved to be a hit with critics and audiences alike. The original cast of the production featured Roger Allam as Bernard, Frances de la Tour as Bertha, Mark Rylance as Robert, and Tamzin Outhwaite, Daisy Beaumont and Michelle Gomez as Bernard's three fiancées, Gloria, Gabriella and Gretchen. This production received two Olivier Award nominations, for Best Revival and Best Actor (Mark Rylance), but won neither. Elena Roger later took on the role of Gabriela.
Warchus also directed the 2008 Broadway revival, which started previews on April 19, 2008 and opened on May 4 at the Longacre Theatre to good reviews. The cast featured Christine Baranski as Berthe, Mark Rylance, reprising his role as Robert, Bradley Whitford as Bernard, Gina Gershon as Gabriella, Mary McCormack as Gretchen and Kathryn Hahn as Gloria. The curtain call of this revival was choreographed by Kathleen Marshall with original music by Claire van Kampen. The production closed on January 4, 2009, after 279 performances and 17 previews. A 45-week North American tour began in Fall 2009. The production won the Best Revival of a Play and Rylance won the Tony Award for Best Leading Actor. The production was nominated for several other Tony Awards including: Best Featured Actress (Mary McCormack), Best Director (Matthew Warchus), Best Costume Design (Rob Howell) and Best Sound Design (Simon Baker). The production won the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Revival of a Play, and Mark Rylance won for lead actor in a play. A current production directed by Dennis Začek is at Drury Lane Theatre in Oak Brook Terrace, IL and stars Nora Dunn as Berthe (as it is rendered in the program), Stef Tovar as Bernard, and Dan Cantor as Robert, who is a rube from Wisconsin in this Chicago area production. The stewardesses are Gloria in red from TWA, played by Kara Zediker, Gabriella in blue from Alitalia played by Dina DiConstanzo, and Gretchen in yellow from Lufthansa played by Katherine Keberlein.