Boeing Boeing Brings French Comedy to Playhouse Mainstage Series
One bachelor, three stewardesses and a plane that flies surprisingly fast.
Friday, July 13
Direct translations don't always come across as intended. Especially when it comes to comedy. Take Gad Elmaleh for example. A very successful comedian in France, Elmaleh struggled with comedy when he came to tour in America earlier this decade.
On the other hand, one American comedian famously did very well in France. That man, Jerry Lewis, was one of the stars in the film version of Boeing Boeing in 1965.
The play premiered in 1960, and was translated to English two years later, becoming a transatlantic comic hit, and is ready to take off soon at The Erie Playhouse.
"It's a farce," Jessie Thorpe, one of the lead actresses in the production, said in an interview, "which tends to translate well by the nature of the genre. There are a few lines that seem to be more literal translations of French idioms, but
Thorpe plays Gloria in The Playhouse's production, which will premiere on July 13. Gloria is one of the three unknowing stewardesses engaged to Bernard, a bachelor living in France. Of her character, Thorpe said: "I would call her the forward-thinking feminist of the group. She has very strong opinions, looks out for herself, and (has a) strange taste in food."
Through the unplanned speed of the new Boeing jet, Gloria and Bernard's other two women happen upon the same city at the same time.
Kelley McDonald (left), Bill Speros, and Adele Crotty. Photo by Rick Klein
"Since it's such a small cast and the characters are so different, all of the relationships have their own clear dynamics," Thorpe said. "All of the women in the show have different accents and backgrounds, and those are comically integrated into their characters."
The Playhouse will host Boeing Boeing on the Mainstage beginning in the second week of July and
July 13-29. Thurs., Fri., Sat., shows at 7:30 p.m., Sun. shows at 2 p.m. // 13 W. 10th St. // Tickets range from $12.00 to $20.25 // erieplayhouse.org