Tuesday, December 10, 2013
By APRIL BOYLE
What do you get when the United States, Italy, Germany and France come together on the same stage for an audience's viewing pleasure? No, it's not a rebroadcast of the Summer Olympics, although there is plenty of running, sweating and feats of mental and physical endurance happening at Hackamatack Playhouse.
WHAT: “Boeing-Boeing” by Hackmatack Playhouse
WHERE: 538 School St. (Route 9), Beaver Dam, Berwick
DATE REVIEWED: Friday; continues through Sept. 1
TICKETS: $25 ($22 seniors and $10 students & children under 20) Seniors are $18 on Thursdays.
CONTACT: 698-1807; www.hackmatack.org
The playhouse is closing out its summer season with "Boeing-Boeing," a comedy that gives a fun-filled twist to the phrase "come fly the friendly skies."
Nature went all-out Friday to create the perfect setting for the production. It was one of those warm, tranquil evenings where everything seemed right with the world. But as the play began to unfold, a storm started brewing outside, as nature imitated art.
In "Boeing-Boeing," Bernard (Joseph Dalfonso) thought he had devised the ideal relationship strategy: three flight attendants, from three different airlines. His utopia is soon comically disrupted, as the fiancees -- Gloria (Crystal Lisbon) from Texas, Gabriella (Samantha St. Onge) from Italy and Gretchen (Abby Langsted) from Germany -- converge on his Paris apartment at the same time, unleashing a storm on stage that nature obliging mirrored outside.
The more Bernard's plan unraveled, the more fun the play became for the audience Friday. Hackmatack's cast was clearly enjoying the chaos.
Dalfonso was at his best when his character was in full meltdown mode. The audience laughed as Bernard deteriorated from slick composure to a frazzled bundle of nerves as he tried to juggle all three fiancees without them finding out about each other.
The menu, decor accents and, of course, the photographs had to be switched out in rapid succession as Gloria, Gabriella and Gretchen were shuffled in and out of the apartment. Often, two were there at once, just in different rooms. It's a wonder the cast didn't mix up the who, what, when and where for real.
And scenic designer Jerard-James Craven deserves mention for his beautifully rendered, detailed set.
Lisbon, St. Onge and Langsted entertainingly played up their character's individuality, particularly in the second act. Lisbon was a hoot, with a Southern accent and bowl-over Texan personality. Langsted was a riot, especially when playing off cast members Tinka Darling and Adam MacDougall.
Darling and MacDougall pro-vided many of the evening's most memorable laughs as Bertha, Bernard's French maid, and Robert, his college buddy from Ohio, respectively.
The Hackmatack veterans delivered witty performances, filled with priceless facial expressions that got better as the evening went on.
"Boeing-Boeing" is a diverting way to spend a late-summer evening in Maine, and a fun choice to close out Hackmatack's season.
Only 10 more performances remain before this delightful comedy packs it in and takes flight out of Berwick for parts unknown.
April Boyle is a freelance writer from Casco. She can be contacted at: