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‘Boeing-Boeing’ is sexy French comedy farce

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Bernard, an American in Paris, is engaged to three flight attendants in “Boeing-Boeing,” a sexy French comedy farce.

Still, he isn’t a cad, says director V.J. Liberatori of the play, first staged in France in the 1960s.

Bernard isn’t playing with these women’s affections, because “I love them all,” he says in the play.

From left, Merritt Glover, Sheridan Johnson and Jessica Osbourne play flight attendants in “Boeing-Boeing.” (Courtesy of Russell Maynor)

From left, Merritt Glover, Sheridan Johnson and Jessica Osbourne play flight attendants in “Boeing-Boeing.” (Courtesy of Russell Maynor)

Bernard, played by Brennan Foster, reveals his love for all three women when he tells his fellow American friend, Robert, played by Matt Puett, of his predicament.

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“He’s very innocent,” Liberatori says. “It has to come from that place of innocence for it to work.”

She says that no one should worry that the play is recycled sexism from the 1960s. “Estrogen power definitely defeats testosterone power. One of the stewardesses is definitely Bernard’s equal.”

The play, nominated for multiple Tony Awards, won for best revival on Broadway in 2008.

The fun is in the unraveling of Bernard’s carefully crafted scheduling, “one up, one down and one pending,” as juggling his love interests requires the skill of an air traffic controller, Liberatori says. “It’s fabulously funny.”

A 1965 Paramount Pictures production featured Jerry Lewis and Tony Curtis.

Trouble brews when his friend, Robert, comes for a visit and can’t remember what stories he’s told to each of flight attendants – Sheridan Johnson as Gloria, Merritt Glover as Gabriella and Jessica Osbourne as Gretchen.

They all arrive at the Paris apartment at the same time, thanks to a speedier Boeing jet.

Angela Littleton plays Berthe, Bernard’s housekeeper.

“They’re creating comedy in motion. It’s physical comedy, the hardest kind of comedy to do. It takes timing and inventiveness,” she says.

If Bernard has problems, Liberatori says she’s had a few staging the comedy. “We had to get six working doors on the stage,” she says of the small stage in the intimate theater space.

But it will all come together in the end, she promises.

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