ARTS CENTER’S HILARIOUS ‘BOEING-BOEING’ BRINGS NON-STOP LAUGHS
Author: CH2 Press Release
“Boeing-Boeing” asks the question, what do you get when you combine an eager playboy, three beautiful stewardesses and a Paris suite? Answer: A night full of laughs.“Boeing-Boeing,” the non-stop comedy that made an extraordinary Broadway debut in 2008 and ended in January 2009, runs Feb. 2-21 at the Arts Center of Coastal Carolina.
“It’s hilarious,” said Russell Treyz, director of such Arts Center hits as “Proposals,” “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” and “South Pacific.” “It’s the perfect male fantasy gone awry.”
Bernard, a likable philanderer, finds himself in a pickle when his three international flight attendant fiancées — an American, a German and an Italian — have their schedules switched and arrive at his Paris pad on the same weekend. Aiding and abetting his antics is Robert, an old school pal who happens by just as the situation goes south, and his long-suffering housekeeper Bertha.
“February is the perfect month for a show like this,” said Kathleen Bateson, Arts Center president and CEO. “First, it’s hilarious. Who doesn’t want to laugh in February? Also, with Valentine’s Day coming up, it’s the perfect ‘date night’ show. You’ll leave the theater with a smile.”
Playing the hapless bachelor is Jason O’Connell, who just finished an off-Broadway run of “Penny Penniworth,” a spoof of Dickens’ novels. When he’s not working in theater, the New York actor performs stand-up comedy.
“Bernard prides himself on his organizational skills and how well he can manage his three romances,” O’Connell said. “I get stressed out just thinking about it. It’s so outrageous.”
Playing his reluctant-but-enabling sidekick is Warren Kelley, last seen in the Arts Center’s production of “The Full Monty.”
Relying on split-second timing, the terrified twosome whisks girls in an out of doors in a madcap attempt to keep the charade going.
“It’s great fun watching other human beings get into trouble and try to get out of it,” Bateson said. “Despite Bernard’s best efforts, you know the pie is eventually going to hit him in the face.”
Rounding out the female-centric cast are Prentiss Benjamin as Gretchen, Eleanor Handley as Gabriella, Lauren Pastorek as Gloria and Gabra Zackman as Berta.
“Too often, in theatre, men get all the laughs,” Bateson said. “‘Boeing’ features five great – and really, really funny – roles for women. It’s a celebration, really.”
A hot, Tony-winning Broadway property’s trajectory after its run in New York ends is usually London, Paris, Los Angeles … but Hilton Head Island?
The Arts Center has been in this position before; recent regional premieres include “The Producers” and “Les Misérables.” Bateson said that it’s a treat to get the rights to produce a hit show such as “Boeing-Boeing” so soon after finishing its Broadway run.
“The show is making its Southeastern premiere here, which is special for us,” Bateson said. “This time last year – if you were lucky enough to get tickets – you could’ve seen this show on Broadway. Now you can save the expense of traveling to New York and see it in your backyard.
“It won two Tonys as recently as 2008. We’re proud of that.”
Tickets are $43 for adults and $31 for kids. Tickets for a “Groundhog Day Sneak Preview” special on Feb. 2 are $24, and preview performances Feb. 3 and Feb. 4 are $39 for adults and $27 for kids.
For tickets, visit www.artshhi.com or call 843-842-ARTS.
The Arts Center of Coastal Carolina is a non-profit performing arts organization. In addition to a 349-seat, main-stage theater that hosts an annual theater and performing arts series, the organization oversees two art galleries and regional arts educational programs, as well as produces four community outreach festivals. The Arts Center received the 2006 Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Award for top arts organization in South Carolina.