It’s difficult to tell which actor provides the most comic energy in Damon Bonetti’s lively and funny production of this farce, reclaimed from the trash heap of the discarded by a brilliant 2008 production that informs Hedgerow’s. Mark Swift has shown his dexterity and ability to move in a split nanosecond, but he adds to touch of small town innocence to his physical agility and wrings extra laughs from the innocence and ordinariness of his confused and ultimately disruptive character.
While Swift plays with rubber legged zeal and puppyish ingenuousness, Andrew Parcell displays chic, if challenged urbanity, as a man who is successfully keeping three airline stewardesses, circa 1960, as mistresses by juggling their flight schedules. Parcell reminds of a young Robert Cummings or even Cary Grant, able to maintain his Parisian sangfroid while panicking and joining Swift in the physical aspects of Bonetti’s staging. Then there’s the amazing and thrillingly entertaining Trice Baldwin (a.k.a. Browns), who steals this BOEING BOEING from its astounding male leads with her deadpan turn as a housekeeper who enjoys being disagreeable but does everything as if Parcell’s hectic household was a paragon of orderliness. Baldwin is especially effective in scenes in which her character loses her cool and turns manic or even ecstatic. She excels as the formidable Gorgon but gives texture to her performance by being suddenly kind or turning more suddenly, and more uncharacteristically, into a coquette. One that outdoes the stewardesses. Bonetti paces his production expertly and Swift, Parcell, and Baldwin provide the consistent pillars that make each of the “stews” effective in their alternating sequence. Beyond pace, Bonetti creates suspense at perfect moments, suspense that is as hilarious as it is unnerving. All of the mistresses are played well, but Hannah Gaffney gets extra marks as the sexy but feistily temperamental Italian from Al Italia. Meredith Beck is boisterous as the shrewd American “fiancée. Allison Bloechl does some stormtrooping with both Parcell and Swift as a heady German from Lufthansa. Read more on Neals Paper >>>
[Hedgerow Theatre, 64 Rose Valley Road, Rose Valley, PA] July 7-August 21, 2016; hedgerowtheatre.org.