Three fi­ancées and a bach­e­lor equal chaos

Lakeshore Play­ers Dor­val present match­mak­ing farce set in the 1960s

Montreal Gazette - - West Island - KATHRYN GREENAWAY kgreen­away@post­media.com

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.

GIO­VANNI CAPRIOTTI

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.

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