Boeing-Boeing, a Hot Summer Nights jet-setting farce | Theater | Indy Week

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Boeing-Boeing, a Hot Summer Nights jet-setting farce

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Though the kinetic sex farce Boeing-Boeing was written 10 years before The Sunshine Boys, it seems placed about a generation or so after it. Upscale single architect Bernard (a too callow Ben Nordstrom) is an American in Paris, but the age of the Jet Set has taught him how to effectively juggle three girlfriends: Make sure they're all flight attendants, commit their intercontinental timetables to memory and influence duty choices so their time in Paris never overlaps.

Of course, such childish games could never work in our more enlightened age—not with the Wall Street Journal reporting United Airlines' current on-time arrival rate of 45 percent.

Bernard no sooner begins to demonstrate his foolproof system to college chum Robert (Bryan Donovan, in a winning Jimmy Stewart take) than it predictably falls to pieces. Then the two try everything to maintain the ruse, caching extra girls in extra bedrooms as disaster looms.

The down-home Gloria (Cameron Wade), the continentally charming (and suspicious) Gabriella (Lauren Barone), and the desperately passionate Gretchen (a rewarding Lilly Nelson) endure the increasingly strange behavior of their beloved until the walls all but literally crumble. Presiding over all: Mike Raab's Bertha, the dubious, ditsy and delightful domestic in drag.

The characterizations of the quartet above are broad as a barn side; Strindberg this ain't. Still, Boeing-Boeing suggests a comic demolition derby, as playwright Marc Camoletti and director Jessica Bogart repeatedly aim couples at one another to see which ones make the most glorious crash.

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