News Column

Fun with a French farce

June 19, 2014

By Thomas Shamma, The Eagle-Tribune, North Andover, Mass.

June 19--Acting Out! Theater Company brings "Boeing Boeing," the most performed French play worldwide, to Lawrence this week.

"It's a farce. It's a comedy. It's a hilarious play," said director Dave Cook of the 1960 script that will be performed in English.

"It's set in Paris in the 1960s, about an architect," he explained. "He has three fiancees. They're all airline stewardesses. He has to juggle their schedules and keep track of when they fly in and out. (There are) a lot of close calls, comings and goings. He has a friend from Wisconsin, an innocent, naive kind of friend, and the other character is his maid, who has to deal with it all. She has kind of a dry, sarcastic way of looking at things."

Cook said he saw the show on Broadway five years ago and was hooked.

"I just laughed for two hours. I thought it was the funniest thing I've ever seen," he said. "There's no moral behind it. We just want people to come out for two hours and leave everything behind and laugh."

Cook said Acting Out! has six great performers in the cast. They are Jerry Wilson of North Andover portraying Bernard, the bachelor; Jim Remmes of Cambridge as his American friend, Robert; Beth Uskaitis of Merrimack as his housekeeper, Berthe; and the three fiancees, the American, Gloria, the Italian, Gabriella, and the German, Gretchen, are played respectively by Lauren Carratu of Methuen, Maura Daly of North Andover, and Terra Helmbold of Haverhill.

"We have six really good actors," Cook said. "Every time you see a play it's different, with different actors and different directors. I just love the people we have. It's great. The thing I love about this play is that there are six great parts. Some plays there are only two good parts (but in 'Boeing Boeing') all six people are the stars."

The show is being performed at the Daly Theater (formerly the Acting Out theater), which was recently re-named in honor of the deceased Steve Daly, a board member of Acting Out! Theater Company and a past president of the North Andover Rotary Club.

"'The Kidnapping Craze' was the first play I directed and Steve Daly was in that play," Cook said, noting that the group had a memorial dinner in Daly's honor that drew a crowd of about 200 people.

"(At the memorial dinner) I did a little part from 'The Kidnapping Craze,' his part, with another person. We acted it out as a tribute," he said. "Now his daughter (Maura Daly) is in this one."

Acting Out! has been putting on plays in Lawrence since 2002. The group recently finished a production of "Annie." Next up after "Boeing Boeing" is "All In The Timing: Six One-Act Comedies" by David Ives.

If You Go

What: "Boeing Boeing," performed by Acting Out! Theater Company.

When: Thursday through Saturday, June 19 to 21, at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, June 22 at 5 p.m.

Where: 56 Island St., Lawrence.

How: Tickets are $12 and are available online at or by calling 978-807-1911.


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Source: Eagle-Tribune (North Andover, MA)

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