15 August 2008


A trip to New York City would not be complete without seeing a Broadway show. That's why my upcoming visit to the Big Apple will include a stop over at the Longacre Theatre where "Boeing-Boeing" is currently playing. The play, which won the 2008 Tony Award for Best Revival tells the story of Bernard, an architect living in Paris, who has successfully juggled three Fiancées who are all flight attendants. Bernard's housekeeper reluctantly plays romantic air-traffic controller as they fly in and out of his swank bachelor pad. But when an old college pal visits, things get rather turbulent! Schedules change, flights are delayed and chaos ensues in this hysterical, high-flying farce!

I find the set of this play to be Most Excellent. Designed by Rob Howell, the set plays homage to the 1960's. Contemporary classic furniture such as Barcelona chairs in white leather are combined with glass, chrome, round mirrors, a Tibetan carpet with a whirlwind design, French antiques and classic wood moldings that span around the stage but are intersected by a line that soars from one end to the other - very much the way a plane appears when lifting off from the ground into the sky, are sharp details.

The set has a white neutral foundation, with a series of doors that are recessed into the walls around the room. Accent colors of blue, yellow and red are prominent around the stage. Each color represents one of Bernard's
Fiancées and their respective airline's signature color. Circular details are found throughout the set. A round port hole in the door to the kitchen, a round coffee table, round mirrors over the desk, tri-colored circles applied to the face of the office desk and a constellation of circles in the center rug of the main furniture grouping in the middle of the stage. Again, each circle of the rug appropriately colored in hues of blue, yellow and red. Naturally, lighting design and costume design follows the tri-color concept and anchors the show. This play is about running around in circles. The action is non-stop, continuous and crazy and the set only reinforces that.

Christine Baranski, Mark Rylance, who won the Tony Award for Best Actor in this play, Bradley Whitford, Gina Gershon, Kathryn Hahn and Mary McCormack star in the production. The show is directed by Matthew Warchus with lighting by Hugh Vanstone.

Gina Gershon

From left. Gina Gershon, Christine Baranski, Bradley Whitford, Mark Rylance, Mary McCormack and Kathryn Hahn.