Encore Michigan

‘Boeing Boeing’ at The Croswell opens doors to laughs

Review April 02, 2022 David Kiley

ADRIAN, MICH.–Don’t expect too much plot with a “doors comedy.” But that’s not what the genre is about. Boeing Boeing, a classic “doors comedy” is piloting laughter around a rakish architect juggling flight-attendant fiancees two more times this weekend at The Croswell Opera House here.

Set in Paris in the 1960s, the play centers on philandering bachelor Architect Bernard (Nate Adams) who keeps a well-organized planner tracking the flights of the three loves of his dishonest polyamorous life. His accomplice in managing this juggling act is stressed French housekeeper Berthe (Mary Rumman). An unexpected player in the scheme arrives on the form of Bernard’s old schoolmate Robert (Jordan Hayes-Devloo), a nerdy love-seeking American from Wisconsin.

Mary Rumman (left) and Maya Gangadharan in Boeing Boeing

The other new factor for Bernard to manage is the deployment of a new Boeing Super Jet that is trimming time off the ladies’ flights, and thus monkey-wrenching his calendar. Soon, the flight attendants–French fiancée Gabriella (Megan McNamee), American fiancée Gloria (Rebekah Thomas) and German fiancée Gretchen (Maya Gangadharan)–all stack up in the Paris flat at the same time, while Bernard and Robert try to keep them from seeing one another by way of four bedroom doors plus a kitchen door that get opened and closed as the three feminine chess pieces get moved around the flat.

The actors all do a good job of maintaining their French and German accents, which can sometimes sink community-theatre productions of this play. Adams, as the philanderer, is a good physical actor, often using the bending of his frame just as he is contorting the truth and trying to find rt holes through which to avoid the collapse of his house of cards. Hayes-Devloo is convincing as the geeky over-sexed American who ends up adding some spice to the proceedings.

Directed by Doug Miller, who also designed the set, a totally believable Paris bachelor flat executed flawlessly with solid walls that don’t wobble a centemeter with the frequent opening and closing of doors. Scene painting by Marty Flake. Costume design by Tallie Carter. Lighting by Tiff Crutchfield. Sound design by Chris Goosman.

Boeing Boeing is a genre piece. It doesn’t make you think too much–unless you want to have fun making the connections to modern times when people on dating sites juggle multiple love interests. Indeed, while part of the charm of this play is 1960s era and even the inclusion of airline icons of yore–Pan Am and TWA–it is a story and play that almost begs for a book update to 2022.

You can see the show tonight (April 2) and tomorrow (April 3) and find ticket information at The Croswell website.

Week of 3/20/2023

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