Sturdy Furniture, Timing Help Make the Comedy Sing in ‘Boeing Boeing’

The show from Chesterfield-based Dramatic License Productions opened last week to positive reviews from local critics, who cited its excellent humor.

Chesterfield-based Dramatic License Productions is earning some positive praise for its staging of "Boeing, Boeing," particular its execution of the humor in the classic farce.

Originally written in the 1960s, "Boeing, Boeing" has enjoyed a second life after being revamped in 2008. Chesterfield Patch asked Executive Director Kim Furlow the secret to pulling off all the punchlines. 

How did the cast work together to make pull the comedic aspects off?

Timing is obviously key. A dropped line or pause in the wrong place can kill a farce.

For approximately three weeks, director Brad Schwartz (of Chesterfield) worked extensively with our six-person cast to keep the pace brisk and each line topping the other so that comedic moments popped. The cast also runs particularly difficult scenes in the dressing room before each performance. It's also terrific when the audience is with us, laughing just at the perfect moment. You know you've hit your mark.

Also very important: The set must also feature VERY sturdy furniture on which the extremely physical comedy takes place. In case you don't remember: 1960's furniture featured fragile teak wood, spindly metal sofa and coffee table legs, all far too delicate for a farce!) Dramatic License faked the look by refurbishing stronger furnishings picked up at resale shops into a very cool, 1960's style set designed by Scott Schoonover with set decoration by Peggy Knock & Nikki Lott.

Why do you think it translate so well and connects with a modern audience even though it is set in the 1960s?

Dramatic License is using the same script as the Broadway revival, which won the 2008 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play. The revisions cut out much of the extraneous verbiage, and tightened up the comic timing of many scenes making them much funnier. It also helps to have a very experienced cast that knows how to play comedy.

I like to call this "Madmen meets TWA": A Don Draper playboy-type American living in Paris is engaged to three flight attendants, all oblivious to the other. When their schedules collide and an old college buddy comes to visit, chaos ensues. Audiences will find themselves rooting for one or more characters while laughing at his or her predicament. We wonder if the handsome devil will make it out alive, which beautiful woman will get her man, whether the wacky friend will ever get a date, and whether the maid will keep her sanity. Call it, "Love American Style in Paris."

The show will run through March 17 at the Dramatic License Productions theater in Chesterfield Mall. Call 636-220-7012 for more information or visit their websitte


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