Three fiancées and a bachelor equal chaos
Lakeshore Players Dorval present matchmaking farce set in the 1960s
Lakeshore Players Dorval is back in farce mode. The Tony Awardwinning Marc Camoletti play Boeing Boeing opens at the Louise Chalmers Theatre in Pointe-Claire on Feb. 4. Set in the 1960s, the action swirls around an American architect in Paris named Bernard who thinks he’s come up with the perfect formula for a spicy dating life by becoming engaged to three stewardesses from three different countries. Their flights bring them to Paris regularly, but never on the same day, until a faster jet makes its debut and then things get messy. When all three women arrive at Bernard’s apartment at the same time, Bernard’s timid, slightly batty friend Robert tries his best to keep all the lies straight and stewardesses separated.
Lia Ludbrook, who plays the Italian stewardess Gabriella, enjoys the chaos good farce can become in the heat of the moment.
“I love the comedic timing that’s required and I love the physicality,” Ludbrook said.
“I found out when I was studying theatre that comedy came easily to me. We’re still trying not to laugh during rehearsal.”
Ludbrook graduated from the theatre program at John Abbott College with her eye on a professional acting career. She worked with Persephone Theatre in Saskatoon and then toured schools with the Montreal Shakespeare Theatre Company. During the school tours, Ludbrook discovered she loved to work with children, so she took a fork in her career path and returned to school to get her education degree. Her love of working with children and doing theatre dovetailed beautifully in 2014 when she went to Malawi to put on a theatre production with local children as part of the Bishop’s University multi-disciplinary initiative Praxis Malawi. The initiative pairs students with grassroots leaders to work on a variety of projects designed to improve life in the poor country.
Ludbrook is applying to a graduate studies program at Bishop’s and hopes to return to Malawi, but first there’s Gabriella’s three-timing boyfriend to deal with.
“Gabriella is a passionate, sexy, classy lady,” Ludbrook said. “She’s also a romantic and thinks that Bernard is too, so she’s always asking him when they will get married.”
Boeing Boeing debuted in London in 1962 and there is a 1965 Hollywood film starring Jerry Lewis and Tony Curtis.
The play had a revival in London’s West End in 2007 and on Broadway in 2008. The Broadway-revival starred Bradley Whitford, Christine Baranski, Mark Rylance, Gina Gershon, Kathryn Hahn and Mary McCormack.
Ludbrook has watched and appreciated the YouTube clips of Gerson as Gabriella in the Broadway revival, but her Gabriella is inspired by someone else entirely. Gabriella is usually played as a brunette, but Ludbrook and director Steve Gillam decided to forget the wig and keep Ludbrook’s blond hair.
“I did some research and discovered an Italian actress named Virna Lisi who was big in the ’60s — Marilyn Monroe’s doppelgänger. She’s my inspiration,” Ludbrook said.
The Boeing Boeing cast also features Jeremy Glenn as Bernard; Sterling Mawhinney as Robert; Mélanie Desjardins as American fiancée Gloria; Theresa Knowles as German fiancée Gretchen and Sylvia Mauri as Bernard’s French housekeeper.
Lakeshore Players Dorval presents Boeing Boeing at the Louise Chalmers Theatre, 501 St-Jean Blvd., in Pointe-Claire, Feb. 4-6 and Feb. 11-13 at 8 p.m. and Feb. 7 and Feb. 13 at 2 p.m. Tickets cost $28, or $24 for students, seniors and QDF members. Balcony tickets cost $18. For reservations, call 514-631-8718.
For more information, visit www.lakeshoreplayersdorval.com.
I found out when I was studying theatre that comedy came easily to me.
Theresa Knowles, left, Melanie Desjardins and Lia Ludbrook participate in a dress rehearsal for the Tony Award-winning Marc Camoletti play Boeing Boeing, which opens on Thursday.