Going into its last weekend at the Omaha Community Playhouse, Boeing Boeing is not your typical comedy. Cast member Teri Fender talked about the challenges of the show:
What specific challenges did the show face for you as a performer?
“I think the toughest thing I’ve had to deal with is the German accent. For the most part, I have a fairly strong aptitude for picking up accents, and have done several of them over the years, but never German before. An authentic German accent tends to be very back of the throat and soft in tone, which, of course, won’t really work in a broad stage farce, so I’ve had to learn the basics, and then adapt them to the material, so to speak. Now I catch myself using the stage version of the German accent in my everyday life, and I’m sure I’m driving everyone in my life up a proverbial wall with it.
What was the rehearsal process for this show like?”
“It’s always an interesting process when working on a comedy, because there are always multiple ways to go, in terms of style, from the subtle to the ridiculous. Working with Carl Beck, who truly is a master in handling this type of comedy, is a joy, because he always seems to know just how to “tweak” the material to get the most out of it.
What’s it been like working with your other cast mates? Any funny stories?
The person I was most excited to work with was Monty Eich. I mean, come on, the man is a comic prodigy. Watching his process, and how much it differed from that of say, Anthony Clark-Kaczmarek’s, or even mine, was fascinating. Comedians and so-called dramatic actors are very different beasts in that way, and it’s always fun to see what we can make out of the mix.”
What do you like about the show’s 1960s style?
“I’ve never worked on such a 60’s-specific play before, something that exists so perfectly within the time frame it was written that it really can’t exist in the same way outside of it, and that in itself is enjoyable. The sets, costumes, hair… they certainly have a little bit of that “Mad Men” flair to them, but in a much broader, brighter, more colorful way.”
What has been your favorite moment in the show so far?
“Wow, it’s hard to pick just one, but I can say that putting on that 95% air hostess/5% dominatrix costume on, spouting those lines in that ridiculous stage accent, and having the audience really seem to dig it, makes all the effort worthwhile.”
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