UPDATED POST: This post was first published on Friday. But there’s new news. Read on!
Last week, the rumor mill had Sarah Jessica
as one of the fiancées in the madcap comedy Boeing-Boeing — she was to play the Italian air hostess. Given that she has
some solid Broadway history and even more interesting Off-Broadway history, that could have been fun casting.
However, it seems the rumor mill was not correct this time. Alas. The
latest casting news is not exactly depressing, though — Gina Gershon
will be the Italian assistente di bordo.
You may know her better as Corky.
Gershon doesn’t have a lot of Broadway
history — just a stint as Sally Bowles in Cabaret. But apparently
she was good. I almost wish Boeing-Boeing was a musical so I could see her sing
live. (Although I suspect it would be different than this Prey for Rock ‘n’ Roll excerpt.)
The other actress recently
cast in Boeing-Boeing is Mary McCormack (West Wing, K Street), as the German flight attendant.
Coincidentally, McCormack’s only Broadway
credit is also Sally Bowles in Cabaret. (I’m guessing that both
she and Gina Gershon were better than the Sally Bowles I saw, Jennifer Jason
was painfully, awfully bad.)
Like Gershon, McCormack has a
number of lesbian and bisexual characters on her resume. She played the lesbian sister in
The Broken Hearts Club who wanted her brother to impregnate her
girlfriend. And she was Maggie, the bisexual character on K
Street. So, even though I’m not all that familiar with most of
her body of work, I like her! And I’ll probably see the show.
Since our first two flight
attendants are reasonably well known for their lesbian and bisexual
roles, I’m wondering who they’ll cast as the third. Perhaps Mariel Hemingway? Or Piper Perabo?
I must say that I’m glad to
see that the first two cast are age appropriate (late 30s/early 40s)
for swinging bachelor Bradley Whitford. I guess we’ll just have to
wait and see who flight attendant No. 3 is.
There’s one thing I know for
certain about the rest of the casting. I’m pretty confident that I’ll
be happier about whomever is cast than I am about last week’s Broadway-casting-that-dare-not-speak-its-name,
namely that Nicole Richie was offered the role of Roxie Hart in Chicago.
The original post from Feb. 29 follows:
Are you ready for some madcap,
swinging ’60s, London-style comedy on Broadway? Perhaps something with
a rakish bachelor and close calls … and maybe some stewardesses? If
so, you’re in luck. A revival of Boeing-Boeing, the ’60s London
farce and current West End hit, will be opening at the Longacre Theatre on May 4 (with
previews beginning April 19.)
If you’re not familiar with
the show — as I was not until recently — here’s how it’s described in
"An architect living in
Paris has been successfully juggling three flight attendant fiancées
with his housekeeper reluctantly playing romantic air-traffic controller
as they fly in and out of his swank bachelor pad. But when an old school
pal visits, things get rather turbulent. Schedules change, flights are
delayed and chaos ensues in this whirl of mayhem and matchmaking."
The architect will be played
by Bradley Whitford (Studio 60 on
the Sunset Strip, The
I’ve always liked him, so I find that fun. But when we get to the women,
the casting starts to get really, really fun. Christine Baranski
will play the housekeeper.
And that’s reason enough for
me to see the show. I can completely see her in what I imagine to be
a screwball, Carol Burnett–esque role. In fact, I believe I’ll
need to get good seats for this show — or bring binoculars — because
I suspect her facial expressions will be priceless.
But Christine Baranski will
not be providing the only star power. The latest casting announcement is that Sarah Jessica
be one of the flight attendants.
I’m excited about this casting,
too. She’s done her share of theater and has earned her madcap chops —
although she’s often played “straight man” to the wild cohort. On Square Pegs, she was the more serious girl who
went along with her friend’s frenetic attempts to join the in-group
at Weemawee High School. And Helen Hunt
was the designated wild child to her quiet, Army-brat dancer in Girls Just Want
to Have Fun.
But she came into her own madcap
glory as SanDeE*, the flaky store clerk in L.A. Story who took
Steve Martin for a high colonic on their first date, and later uttered
my favorite line in the movie: “Can I spin here?”
I’m excited about the chance
to see her on stage, though. This is not stunt casting; her theater
credits date back to the ’70s. She was one of the replacement Orphan Annies
back in the day. She was reputed to do a creditable job in the revival
of Once Upon a Mattress. (Taking on a role owned by Carol Burnett
takes some chutzpah.) And she earned some of her best notices
playing the eponymous dog in the Manhattan Theater
Not everyone could hold a play
together as a dog.
But now she’s trading her
leash for a short skirt and a pair of wings, and I will happily go watch.
I just wish she were going to play one of Christine Baranski’s three