Big comedy with a small cast coming this spring

Featuring only six actors and a set with seven doors, “Boeing Boeing” is the opposite of boring boring.

Set in 1960s Paris, “Boeing Boeing” is a classic farce about a bachelor, Robert, with three fiancées who all show up to visit his lavish bachelor pad at the same time. Robert now has to keep each fiancée entertained and oblivious to one another. Hilarity ensues.

“This play is so much funnier than you expect it to be,” said senior Victoria Saraldi, the actor who plays Bernard’s maid Berthe. “The joy of doing comedy is that all of these outrageous situations are real and all of the catastrophes that happen are genuinely catastrophic and they’re all hilarious. Expect to laugh.”

Starting back in December, preparation for “Boeing Boeing” has been a very long process. Actors have been rehearsing every Monday, Tuesday, Thursdays and Friday from 6–11 p.m., and set design has been hard at work creating one of the largest sets Guilford has ever seen.

“It’s been a really fun rehearsal process,” said Nina Troy, senior and the actor who plays German flight attendant Gretchen. “It’s my senior thesis, so I’ve been working really hard on it in terms of getting prepared and learning my lines, making sure I’ve personalized everything and (making sure) my character is fully realized.”

Speaking of characters, “Boeing Boeing” is a play with only six. This makes this one of the smallest casts Guilford has had for a production of this size.

“It’s a very interesting set of characters,” said Margaret Mckinney, first-year and the actor who plays Italian flight attendant Gabriella. “Every character is very intriguing on their own, and they each have some kind of quality that’s funny about them, so it’s easy to fall in love with all of them — except for Bernard, he’s kind of a jerk.”

The development of these characters and the comedy that surrounds their story, however, has not come easy.

“Well the old saying is, dying is easy, comedy is hard,” said Marc Williams, director of “Boeing Boeing” and visiting assistant professor of theatre arts. “I think that’s because comedy, especially a farce, requires the performer to build absolute faith in absurd situations, and that’s not always easy to do. They take a lot work, and they push actors — even experienced ones.”

In farces, scenes often depend on very quick timing and ridiculous, often unrealistic, situations. Door slamming — I’ve been told — is very common.

“The audience should be expecting to have their senses tested,” said Colin Tripp, junior and the actor who plays Bernard’s houseguest Robert. “If they really give it a good shot in terms of paying attention to what’s going on, I think they’ll be rewarded in that regard.”

Focusing on bizarre, hectic and hilarious moments, “Boeing Boeing” has pushed each of its actors, and they feel that Guilford will really connect with it.

“It’s begging you to be more, being more is never too much,” said junior Tarilabo Koripamo, and the actor who plays American flight attendant Gloria Hawkins.

“That’s what Guilford represents, is it not, being more?”

“In a very weird way, I see a lot of Guilford characters here because we are weird in our own way, we’re just different. It’s like we’re our own farce. I think (‘Boeing Boeing’) is perfect for Guilford, it’s about young people finding themselves.”

Everyone involved has obviously put a lot of work into this production. Opening night is April 8th at 8 p.m., with additional performances on April 9, 15 and 16.

“A lot of people have put a lot of really hard work into this,” said Troy. “It’s one of my favorite plays that we have ever done in Guilford, so I’m really excited.

“It’s going to be a hoot.”