Theatre UCF’s summer season takes flight with the bedroom farce Boeing Boeing, running June 13 to July 20 in the Black Box theater.
The play centers around architect Bernard (Patrick Sylvester), who, with the help of his long-time buddy Robert (Eric Earley) and his surly maid Bertha (Kate Ingram), juggles three fiancées (Emily Schwartz, Danielle Miller, and Kim Hough), all flight attendants with different travel schedules. There is much door slamming, physical and verbal comedy, and sexual innuendo as Bernard’s meticulous timetables fail and the women converge upon the apartment at once.
Comedies such as Boeing Boeing aren’t easy for actors. Director Mark Brotherton focuses his attention on the benefits to the students. “Farces like Boeing help them learn pace and timing—both having to come from incredibly hard active listening,” he said. “And on top of that, it needs to be believable.
“In comedy, the actor has to believe the situation and the stakes. And the best comedies are like this one. They occur when normal people – at least in their own eyes – are thrown into incredibly abnormal situations. Their world has been thrown out of order, and they will all try anything and everything to get it back into order.”
In addition to learning about timing, there are plenty of foreign dialects in the play for the students to master. The play takes place in Paris, so Bertha speaks with a French accent. The three flight attendants are from Italy, Germany and New York.
Miller, who plays the role of Italian flight attendant Gabrielle, transferred to UCF this summer and is in her first UCF production. “I had never used an Italian dialect prior to my audition, but I watched a lot of movies in order to get the hang of it. I’m channeling Sophia Loren and Penelope Cruz in Nine.”
The practice doesn’t end with rehearsal. “I work at Lazy Moon,” said Miller, “and find myself delivering pizzas with an Italian accent.”
Brotherton agrees that there are benefits for audience members, too.
“Boeing Boeing is just a good time,” he said. “Mad Men is one of the biggest hits on television. And Boeing Boeing, well, it’s like Mad Men without any valium or scotch to calm the characters down.”
Production at a glance:
Written by Marc Camoletti
Translated by Beverly Cross and Francis Evans
Directed by Mark Brotherton
8 p.m.: June 13, 14, 15, 20, 21, 22, July 12, 18, 20
2 p.m.: June 16, June 23, July 14
Theatre UCF Black Box
Price: Standard $20, senior $18, student $10; group discounts available
Address: 4000 Central Florida Blvd., Orlando
Box office phone: 407-823-1500
Box office hours: Monday through Friday: noon to 5 p.m. and two hours before performances
For more information about Theatre UCF, visit http://theatre.ucf.edu.