There's nothing like a well-oiled machine, as Torch Theater's Boeing Boeing proves.
Marc Camoletti's 1960s-era farce would seem to be a relic of a long-ago, pre-cell-phone world, but this tale of a man trying to juggle three air-hostess fiancees over one long night at his swank Paris apartment remains fresh due to the amazing hard work put in by everyone involved.
It works because the six actors, under the steady direction of Craig Johnson, put their all into each of their silly characters and the increasingly mad situations.
Okay, see if you can keep up. American Bernardo is living the good life in Paris with a nice job, nice apartment, and a trio of lovers. Gloria (American), Gabriella (Italian), and Gretchen (German) all fly for different airlines, and all have schedules that take them to Paris at different times.
So, with a few swapped photos and menu changes, Bernardo is able to court all three of them. The day it all falls apart happens to be the day that an old college chum, Robert, comes on a visit from Wisconsin. Robert is at first intrigued by Bernardo's lifestyle, until everyone's flights get changed and there is suddenly a full house.
It's up to the two men, with some hesitant assistance from French maid Berthe, to keep everyone separate. In the grand tradition of farces, this means plenty of doors being slammed, men spinning taller and taller tales, and lots of physical play to hide incriminating evidence.
A lot of this falls on the shoulders of Zach Curtis, who plays Robert. Curtis, in fact, seems to be on an interesting weight loss program, having gone from a fat suit in The Whale to running around all evening at the Theatre Garage.
Sam Landman plays the smooth Bernardo, but it isn't until the character starts to lose control that the actor can really dig into the role. His actions become as frantic as Curtis's, and the pair make a great comic double act.
What really sells the show are the women. Each actor sketches a character out of the respective quirks, but it works in the bright colors of the play. Stacia Rice is fierce and angry as Gabriella. Sara Richardson is tough and demanding as Gretchen. Rachel Finch is just... strange as Gloria, who loves to eat pancakes with ketchup and thinks that marriage should be about everything except love.
The final piece of the puzzle is Mo Perry, whose low-ley maid gets some of the biggest laughs of the evening, sometimes just by using a feather duster.
IF YOU GO
Boeing Boeing Through April 4 Minneapolis Theatre Garage 711 W. Franklin Ave., Minneapolis $8-$30 For tickets and more information, call 1-888-71-TICKETS or visit online.