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Boeing Boeing will leave audiences laughing out loud this week

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Playgoers  of Lethbridge take laughter to new heights with their upcoming production of  Marc Camoletti’s French Farce  Boeing  Boeing.
 The 1962 comedy, translated by Beverley Cross and Francis Evans, lands at the Yates Memorial Theatre, Feb. 10-13.
“It’s coming together really really well,” said director Linda Johnson, who was pleased to be able to move into the Yates Theatre earlier than usual to allow the cast to practice opening and closing the numerous doors on stage.
“There are so many doors. So timing is so important when one opens and another closes,” she said.
“Boeing Boeing” is about the misadventures of French bachelor Bernard, who thinks he has everything figured out with his three air hostess fiancés.
He figures they are none the wiser about each other due to their strict schedules until the introduction of new, faster Boeing jets.
“One is American, one is German and one is Italian and they know nothing of each other,” Johnson said.
“ But because of the new Boeing planes, which are  faster, all three hostesses arrive at the same time so  Bernard’s American friend Robert has to help make sure these three women don’t meet,” she continued.
“So Bernard is in a complete panic when all three show up,” she said.
 The talented local cast includes an  equal mix of Playgoers of Lethbridge veterans and newcomers. She has worked with Josh Hammerstedt (Robert), Monique Prusky (Gabrielle) and Shelley David before, but hasn’t worked with Garrett Bishoff (Bernard), Cassandra Watson or Emilie Kidd.
“ Just the fact they are so talented. They all have their own character which they bring to the characters they play. They’ve all been wonderful,” she said, praising her backstage crew as well.
“ I always say laughter is the best medicine. So I expect people will leave this play feeling quite healthy,” she said.

 Garrett Bishoff, who plays Bernard was also in last year’s main-stage production of “Leading Ladies,”  during which he had to perform in a dress. He jumped from that into Shakespeare in the Park’ summer production of “Much Ado baout nothing.”
“I’m really happy that  I don’t have to wear a dress in Boeing Boeing,” he said, adding he is also enjoying working with the leading ladies of Boeing Boeing.
“I’m also excitedI  can do a straight ahead French accent this time. I’ve done a lot of caricatures  and parodies of French accents like in Spamalot. But this is a more straight ahead Parisian accent,” he s continued.
“When I first read the script, I was originally attracted to the role of Robert, but I was happy to  take the role of Bernard,” he said. He is on stage for most of the play except for two brief passages where he is off stage.
“It’s about 20 minutes, but it is a nice breather,” he said it was interesting going from a role which he had to memorize hundreds of lines in “Leading Ladies,” then a dozen in Shakespeare in the Park’s “Much Ado About Nothing,” then back to a play with hundreds of lines.
 Josh Hammerstedt is excited to be back with Playgoers ofLethbridge for “ Boeing Boeing” as Robert.
“I’ve been working with Playgoers for a half dozen years. When I read the script, it was absolutely hilarious,” Hammerstedt said.
“Robert is in Paris because he is visiting his friend Bernard. He wants to get married, but hasn’t found the right woman,” Hammerstedt explained.
“When he gets there, he finds Bernard has three fiancés and it looks like a golden opportunity to find  one of his own,” he said.
“The play has a lot of running around, which I enjoy,” he said adding his character in Leading Ladies was a little more milquetoast than Robert.
“ Robert ends up finding he is really good at flying by the seat of his pants. It’s going to be a lot of fun,” he promised.
Monique Prusky is pleased to be back with Playgoers of Lethbridge to play Air Italia air hostess Gabrielle.
“I saw Boeing Boeing in Medicine Hat last year and I thought it was very funny. So when it came before the board I knew  I wanted to either direct it or be involved in some way,” she said.
“Its been fun because the three really don’t know about each other,” she said.
 She directed Playgoers of Lethbridge’s dinner theatre production of the Marc Camoletti farce “ Don’t  Dress For Dinner,” which is considered the unofficial prequel to Boeing, Boeing,” though Prusky  emphasized they are really unrelated.
“It’s hard to say. Bernard and Robert are both in it, but that’s all,” she said, adding she has enjoyed working with  the cast. She has worked with Josh Hammerstedt and Garrett Bishoff before, and has known the others, but hasn’t worked with them.
Playgoers of Lethbridge newcomer Cassandra Watson was excited to join Boeing Boeing as Lufthansa flight attendant Gretchen. She is excited to work with the cast and director linda Johnson.
“ I wanted to perform in front of a different audience because I graduate this year,” she said.“ I read the script and I thought it was pretty funny, so i wanted to be part of it,” she continued. noting getting to know everyone has been her favourite part of the show.
“Probably just getting to know all of these new people.
“ It’s been nice getting to know Josh. Also getting to work with Linda. She’s been great,” she said.
“I think we’re going to have some fun. Come out to the show and have a few laughs,” she said.
 Tickets cost $25 from the Lethbridge Ticket Centre. Boeing Boeing begins at 8 p.m., each night, Feb. 10-13.
 A version of this story appears in the Feb. 10, 2016 edition of the Lethbridge Sun Times

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor

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