Not that there’s anything wrong with it, but if you’ve seen enough of their work, you know what to expect from accomplished comic talents such as Nita Hardy (“The Savannah Disputation”) and Andrew Benator (“Hank Kimmel’s Shorts”) in “Boeing, Boeing.”
French playwright Marc Camoletti’s frivolous 1960s farce (translated by Beverley Cross) centers around a rascally bachelor who’s juggling simultaneous affairs with a trio of globe-trotting “air hostesses” (read, flight attendants). In director Susan Reid’s nimbly orchestrated Aurora Theatre production, Hardy and Benator steal scenes as the guy’s reluctant, increasingly harried accomplices.
Hardy is his housekeeper, charged with planning international menus at the drop of a hat (the “harem” is composed of American, French and German women) -- to say nothing of impromptu interior-decorating chores (color-coordinating the pillows and flower arrangements to match their respective uniforms, designed by Linda Patterson).
Benator portrays an old school chum who happens by. Initially “lost in wonder” over all the intricate details of the scheme, he eventually finds himself in the wrong (or possibly right) place at the wrong (ditto) time. While his friend the “maestro” is away, his own juggling skills are tested when the plot inevitably contrives to bring the three women together.
That it’s no surprise to see these two actors in such fine form doesn’t mean it isn’t highly enjoyable just the same. And “Boeing, Boeing” is what it is, an unabashedly ridiculous romp driven by its requisite physicality -- an often breathless barrage of meticulously timed entrances, exits and near-misses through any number of slamming doors around Jamie Bullins’ sturdy set.
Megan Hayes and Cheri Christian are suitably fit as the American and French love interests, but a couple of Reid’s other casting choices are more inspired. Joe Knezevich’s typically straight performances rarely let you forget he’s always acting, so it’s a genuine treat to watch him cutting loose with great flair as the polygamous protagonist.
And who can resist the idea of Courtney Patterson, his longtime Georgia Shakespeare cohort, playing a kind of ersatz Elke Sommer? Her German accent wavers -- as do the French accents of her co-stars, and even Hayes’ overly affected Southern drawl (Reid could have done without them altogether) -- but otherwise Patterson is a delicious sight to behold, a real testament to the play’s suggestion that “precision means efficiency.”
Camoletti’s dated, pre-women’s lib comedy doesn’t hold up to much modern logic. The lovers are conventional, nonsensical sex objects who aren’t smart enough to turn the tables on their lecherous Lothario in any reasonable way. Why should it matter, then, if the three clocks on his apartment wall (one for each girl’s time zone) don’t keep very accurate track?
Check your brain at the gate and sit back for a rollicking ride.
Through May 30. 8 p.m., Thurs.-Sat.; 2:30 p.m., Sat.-Sun.; 10 a.m., Wed. (May 26). $16-$30. Aurora Theatre, 128 Pike St., Lawrenceville. 678-226-6222. auroratheatre.com.
Bottom Line: Breezy, buoyant.
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