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‘Boeing, Boeing’ to land on Parkland stage

Just six talented young actors comprise the cast of “Boeing, Boeing,” a non-stop comedy which will be performed Oct. 7 and 8 at Parkland High School.

Small in size but large in laughs, the play is a farce full of unpredictable twists and turns that follows the unraveling of one swinging bachelor’s seemingly perfect plan.

Bernard is a successful architect who resides in a posh flat in Paris, France.

Every week, on different days, he enjoys the company of three beautiful stewardesses who are all engaged to him, but of course are all unaware of each other.

With the help of his doting, yet annoyed maid, Berthe, Bernard manages to entertain and maintain his trio of engagements without a hitch.

Even his awkward grade school friend, Robert, who arrives from Wisconsin for a surprise visit, is impressed with Bernard’s abilities.

It appears that nothing can go wrong for Bernard in his perfectly scheduled world, that is until the advent of the speedy new Boeing jet, which threatens to set his infallible “time table” awry.

The result is a hilarious, high energy slapstick performance full of enough twists and turns to make anyone dizzy.

Junior Max Hakim plays Bernard, the dashing bachelor.

“My character is cool, collected and slick,” Hakim explained. “The physicality of the comedy in this play was challenging and fun.”

“We as a cast have realized that this is probably the only opportunity we are going to have a chance to do something like this while we are in high school.”

As the play opens, the audience is introduced, one at a time to Bernard’s three lovely ladies.

Gloria, an American stewardess for TWA, appears in the opening scene.

Junior Skylar Gutman plays Gloria, and in one word describes her character as “energetic.”

“This is by far so different from all the shows I’ve done in the past,” Gutman said. “Our characters are so big, and because our characters are so big we can go so far with the elements of the show.

“It’s because we know each other so well that we’re not afraid to build those characteristics. Everything about these characters is so over-the-top!”

Bernard’s second fiancée, Gabriella, is played by junior Hannah Parrish.

Gabriella is the Italian fiancée with dark hair and a thick accent.

Parrish describes her character as “lustful.”

Bernard’s German fiancée is Gretchen, played by senior Lisa Conte.

“Strong and passionate,” are two words Conte uses to describe her character.

“The situations in this play are really a bit ridiculous but that’s what makes it funny,” Conte explained.

Holding this crazy household together, is Bernard’s maid, Berthe, played by senior Malerie Razzis.

“My character is snarky and sarcastic,” said Razzis, who developed a thick accent for the role.

“Everything about it was a new experience especially working with such a small cast,” said Razzis. “The set is very much a part of this show and the costumes really help develop who we are. Every component of this show is so particular to the story.”

Adding an especially comedic element to the play is Robert, Bernard’s longtime friend from Wisconsin, who just so happens to pop in for a visit just in time to watch Bernard’s stable life turn to shambles.

Robert, who refers to Bernard’s ladies as his “international harem,” is played by junior Reese Diaz.

In one word, Diaz describes his character as “eccentric.”

“My character is very interesting. He is very, I don’t know how to put it…awkward,” said Diaz.

Diaz described developing his character.

“I just took some of who I am as a person, and took a lot from watching other people and how they interact,” he explained.

Throughout the process of practicing for the play, Parrish noted she was, “impressed by the creativity” of the cast.

“Reese (Diaz) created a lot of the blocking, he (Director Mark Stutz) agreed, and we followed,” jokes Parrish as the group of six sit around a table, something they say they have done many evenings together since beginning production.

“We have made so many fun trips,” reminisced Parrish. “Since we are so close (and also to build chemistry) we would go on these little trips that we would call ‘Boeings goings.’ We would go out to eat. We even went bowling last week.”

“Our chemistry offstage is kind of similar as it is onstage,” adds Conte. “We like to banter and tease each other. We worked through all of that and grew through all of that as friends and as actors.”

Hard at work behind the scenes is sophomore stage manager Kailey Kloiber.

“Honestly, as a sophomore, it has been a lot, but I’m coming up to the challenge,” said Kloiber. “It’s been really fun, the cast is amazing and I have an amazing crew supporting me.”

The set was designed by Alex Michaels who oversees the building of the set and keeps everything in order.

Designed as an interior set, it consists of seven doors leading to three bedrooms and one bathroom, which the audience never actually sees.

Michaels is assisted by lighting designer, Helena Dougherty, and sound designer Riley Allsop.

“The show has been professionally costumed by Scaramouch Costumes,” said Elizabeth Smith, costume advisor. “We got to work with a brand new set of costumes.”

Director Mark Stutz offered some background on the production.

“Historically, we went from farce to vaudeville to situation comedies,” said Stutz. “This show is a farce and involves unusual people in ridiculous situations.

“‘Boeing, Boeing’ is the No. 1 produced French comedy in the world.

“It was a flop when it was introduced in the 60s, but was revised in 2008 and became a huge success!”

Even after the final curtain closes this weekend, this group of talented young actors will have another opportunity to perform their show.

“We will be taking the show to perform at the State ITS (International Thespian Society) contest in York,” said Parrish. “ITS is the honor society for theater kids. Fifty schools are represented with six on the mainstage. We applied and were chosen.”

“We will get adjudicated in York, which means we will be judged on our performance and hopefully rate superior so we can go to nationals in Nebraska.”

“It’s been a pleasure and honor to work with these six kids,” concluded Stutz. “I’ve had close casts, but I’ve never seen this kind of love-hate relationship. They love to pick on each other and support each other, break down together, cry together and laugh together.”

“Boeing, Boeing” was written by Marc Camoletti and translated to English by Beverly Cross.

The show runs 7:30 p.m. Oct. 7 and 8. Tickets will be available at the door.

PRESS PHOTO BY JENNIFER BODISCHGloria, played by Skylar Gutman, the American stewardess who is one of three women engaged to Bernard, played by Max Hakim, rehearse their lines for Parkland High School's production of “Boeing, Boeing.” The comical farce will be performed 7:30 p.m. Oct. 7 and 8 in the high school auditorium.