A comedic blast from the past at CTC

By MIKE CHAIKEN

EDITIONS EDITOR

A slice of humor from the 1960s will grace the stage at Connecticut Theatre Company this month.

The local theater troupe will be performing 1962’s “Boeing-Boeing” by Marc Camoletti (which was later turned into a movie in 1965). The comedy also was revived on Broadway in 2008 and included actresses Gina Gershon and Connecticut’s own Christina Baranski.

The comedy is about a Parisian bachelor who literally is burning the candle at three ends, balancing three different flight attendant fiancés.

Bristol’s Laura Bailey, who plays Gabrielle, said she wanted to be part of the CTC production because “Boeing-Boeing is a classic door slamming farce. I was attracted to the fast-paced tempo of the show, as well as the opportunity to add my own character through physical comedy.”

“When I heard about the show I didn’t know much about it,” said Southington’s Steffon Sampson. “But after seeing a few clips of the show I knew it was going to be funny. Especially with Duane (Campbell) and Johnny (Revicki) directing

A press release from CTC said Campbell and Revicki “were drawn to the story for both its comedic appeal and its commentary on the misogyny of the swinging ‘60s.” Revicki is quoted in the press release as saying, “Through it’s retro humor and farce, we can remember our past and move forward into the future.”

Bailey said, “The show has a great amount of scripted humor, and the physical comedy is incredible. The show really comes to life on stage. Every character is funny in their own way, and all of the actors have brought a lot to their characters.”

“What I love about the humor is that it is different every time,” said Sampson. “Nothing really is ever the same and it keeps it interesting.”

The show is from the 1960s and reflects the sensibilities of that era.

But Bailey explained, “While the show centers around a man juggling three attractive fiances, the women in the shows are all very strong characters. In the end, all four women get exactly what they want. The female characters were all ahead of their time. I’m sure that’s part of the reason why the 2008 Broadway revival was so popular.”

Audience will like the show, Sampson said, because “each night I believe each of us as actors perform it just as if we wanted to make each other laugh on stage. I believe if we can make each other laugh then we are doing something right.”

“Audiences will love the humorous interactions between the characters,” said Bailey. “The show also has beautiful costumes and a classic 1960s charm.”

In terms of how she approaches the performance of her character in this production, Bailey explained, “My character, Gabriella is the ‘straight woman’ in contrast to kooky Gloria and slapstick Gretchen. It’s challenging to make her as funny as the other women since she is the most sincere character. I have worked in some physical comedy that I think the audience will love.”

The show takes place in the 1960s, when air travel was approached a little differently by crew and passenger.

“If I could revive one aspect of the golden age of air travel,” said Bailey, “it would be the fashion. I love that passengers used to dress to the nines when traveling, it was all very glamorous.”

“Glamour aside,” added Bailey, “flying is much safer, and more affordable today than it was in the 1960s. Air travel is a overall a better experience today for everyone.”

In addition to Sampson and Bailey, “Boeing-Boeing” stars Damian Dominguez of West Hartford, Mary Roane and Erin Campbell of New Britain, and Brooke Ferguson of New Hartford.

“Boeing-Boeing” concludes this weekend with performances on Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets are $18 for adults and $16 for students and seniors. Tickets can be purchased online at www.connecticuttheatrecompany.org or bought at the door. All performances are held at the Repertory Theatre, 23 Norden St., in New Britain.

Connecticut Theatre Company presents ‘Boeing-Boeing’ which continues this weekend.

Connecticut Theatre Company presents ‘Boeing-Boeing’ which continues this weekend.

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