Lauren Hansen is a junior journalism-news major and writes "Lauren's Lookback" for the Daily News. Her views do not necessarily agree with those of the newspaper. Write to Lauren at email@example.com.
Sex is funny
The topic of sex is uncomfortable, but something happens when you diffuse it with comedy that appeals to the young and the old, the male and the female alike. Calvin MacLean’s direction of the physical comedy keeps it classily immodest, a playful balance. The only dilemma with this is that the topic of sex in this show is funny to straight people. It plays off of reversing the traditional roles in a heterosexual relationship. Granted, this was written in an era where it was scandalous to see a woman taking charge, making it all the funnier. But I’ve seen the old “man cowers in the face of his woman while she rattles off something sassy” joke so many times, it doesn’t pack the same punch anymore.
There were times when I was watching Foldvari deliver her comedy that I was convinced she wasn’t an actual person. No, this was just a character that lived on that stage, it had to be. Foldvari played Gretchen, one of the three flight attendant girlfriends that playboy businessman Bernard (Frank Zabilka) kept hidden from each other. As the representation of Germany, Foldvari’s comedy was full of brute physical actions that are characteristic of stereotypical German behavior, but unusual to see in women. She fit so well into the world of the play and had the audience expecting to be floored with laughter every time she entered the scene.
The subtle feminism
The entire play is about keeping these three women, whom Bernard is casually using, from finding out about each other. Each woman in the show has a secret weapon. The American girlfriend, Gloria (Kelsey Skomer), is a smart woman whose comments about women being the ones who actually run the world got applause from some audience members. The Italian, Gabriella (Courtney Martin), could talk circles around you until you gave up whatever information she wanted. Gretchen, the strong German, is physically intimidating and could beat up Bernard in seconds. The whole time, you are actually scared to find out what these women would do to Bernard if they found out what he was doing. And you can't forget Berthe (Alexandria Hudson), Bernard’s maid who literally kept everything from unravelling into (even more) chaos.
The “deeper meaning”
What a job for Izzy Heins, the dramaturg for this production. It would be hard for me to watch a farce such as “Boeing Boeing” and find the deeper meaning in it. With what is going on within the social politics of the world, and more specifically our nation, it is hard NOT to relate everything back to social activism. Although saying that this play is a direct fight against racism is a stretch, Heins points out that this was written during the (first) civil rights movement, so playwright Marc Camoletti most definitely wrote it to provide some humor in dark times. Coincidence that this was scheduled as the first BSU play performed in 2017? I think not.
“Boeing Boeing” is playing at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 7-11 in University Theater. Purchase tickets at the box office in University Theatre on campus, online at bsu.tix.com or call the box office at 765-285-8749.