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Fall Theater Review: Center Stage’s "Boeing Boeing"

T.J. Clemente

John Leonard and Dane DuPuis. (Photo: Dane DuPuis)

Seeing Boeing Boeing before it's going going gone at Center Stage at the Southampton Cultural Center is a must. Directed brilliantly, by local legend, Michael Disher, Boeing Boeing is a comedy by Marc Camoletti, and the giggles, laughs, and comedic lines are a sky mile a minute. The plot revolves around two American college friends, three airline stewardesses (it is a pre-1964 play so they are called stewardesses) from three different international airlines, one Paris apartment and one adorable French "domestic servant." The play is set in the early 1960's and noted in the 1991 Guinness Book of Records as, "The Most Performed French Play throughout the World."

The show is a snapshot from the time when air travel was just entering the jet engine phase. With only a cast of six, the show creates an energy that fosters comedy, drama, and good theater. With a brilliant set designed by Michael Disher, Joe Liehr, and Sarah Moritz and perfect lighting design by Ben Miller, the cast of Boeing Boeing shines.

Dane DuPuis plays the lead character Bernard. He showed off his talents flowing throughout the show with a wonderful energy and infectious smile and at times athletic ability. Shannon DuPuis, who was every inch the part, played the dazzling TWA stewardess. Ms. DuPuis has a certain scene stealing quality, and in her role executed an exciting vulnerability that added to the flow of the show. The Lufthansa stewardess Gretchen was terrifically played by Samantha Honig who shows true SNL comedic timing with refined Broadway skills.

When you see a good comedy and you enjoy it usually one or two characters really stay in your mind and have you giggling all the way home. For me, Boeing Boeing had three such characters: Catherine Maloney, Josephine Wallace and John Leonard.

Catherine Maloney, John Leonard and Samantha Honig. (Photo: Dane DuPuis)


Catherine Maloney's portrayal of Berthe, the French domestic servant, was sensational and won over the crowd over and over again, no doubt with an assist of the translated dialogue (by Beverly Cross and Francis Evans) of Marc Camonetti, the playwright. Also, Josephine Wallace playing Alitalia stewardess Gabriella explodes with every movement and line. Kudos to Ms. Wallace.

Lastly, I salute John Leonard, who played Robert, for being the comedic glue that both holds the show together and provides so many belly laughs in both his physical comedy skills and his delivery of the lines. John Leonard made the part of Robert his own and put his talents into every breath of the show.

Boeing Boeing will run Thursday, October 20 through Sunday, November 5, with performances Thursdays and Fridays at 7 p.m., Saturdays at 8 p.m., and Sundays at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 to $62. A Dinner/Theater Package is available at The Plaza Café and a Brunch /Theatre Package is available at
Fellingham's.

Southampton Cultural Center is located at 25 Pond Lane in Southampton. For more information, call 631-287-4377 or visit www.scc-arts.org.




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