Friday, August 21, 2015

An "industry" perspective on BOEING BOEING

by Gale Clapper
Anne Walaszek, Samantha Sostarich &
Amber Smith (Photo by Paul Ruffolo)
As a flight attendant for United Airlines, I expected to be amused by a play about a womanizer juggling three “air hostesses” at the same time. The performance of BOEING BOEING by the Milwaukee Chamber Theatre provided far more than mere amusement with almost three hours of belly laughs. The retro comedic farce was hilarious and the actors were appropriately over-the-top with their accents and actions in spot-on performances filled with witty dialogue and physical antics.

Representing TWA, Lufthansa and Air Italia, Gloria, Gretchen and Gabriella managed to override the sexist situation of philandering fiancé Bernard with their own strong personalities. Anne Walaszek, Samantha Sostarich and Amber Smith were picture perfect in and out of their uniforms while bantering with their fiance Bernard, played by a subtly lecherous Brian Gill.

The rapid scrambling as each flight attendant entered and exited, barely missing encountering each other, required impeccable timing on the part of the actors. The facial expressions of Berthe, the housekeeper played by Marcella Kearns, and Robert, the friend from Wisconsin performed by Ryan Schabach, were remarkably animated. The moments the two of them were together were delightfully uninhibited. Being familiar with global flight patterns and the erratic airline schedules, I had to suspend reality knowing such a juggling act would be practically impossible but I was also aware that numerous global relationships do take place. Flight attendants still hop the pond to meet with boyfriends overseas.

I strongly recommend that you fly to the Broadway Theatre Center in Milwaukee’s Historic Third Ward and buckle your seat belt for a turbulent romp through this campy comedy. It’s a trip!

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