August 2015

Milwaukee Magazine takes a ride with Boeing Boeing

Paul Kosidowski with Milwaukee Magazine thinks Boeing Boeing is a fun-filled bumpy ride!

“Cotey’s cast find some dazzling moments in a good old-fashioned door-slammer.”

Click here to read the full review.

A Review for Boeing Boeing!

Peggy Sue Dunigan reviewed Boeing Boeing for!

“Take this modern flight of farce, perhaps as Frank Sinatra would sing “a starry-eyed and rarefied’ comic production so charmingly cavorted at MCT for a summer evening’s vacation everyone will fancy.”

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“Milwaukee Chamber Theatre’s BOEING BOEING Soars With Talent”

Matthew Perta with loved Boeing Boeing!

“The Chamber Theatre’s production of Marc Camoletti’s Boeing Boeing soars with hilarious hijinks performed by a talented cast under the direction of Michael Cotey.

With its heavy dose of physical comedy, Boeing Boeing tests an actor’s agility. Brian J. Gill, as swinging bachelor Bernard and Ryan Schabach as his naïve buddy Robert, brilliantly rise to the challenge. As the trio of airline hostesses parading through Bernard’s swanky Paris digs, Anne Walaszek as the American Gloria, Amber Smith as the Italian Gabriella and Samantha Sostarich as German Gretchen nail their characters beautifully. They also fill out beautifully the brightly colored, form-fitting 1960s-era stewardess outfits created by Eleanor Cotey.

But snaring the crown of scene-stealer is Marcella Kearns as Bernard’s housekeeper, the devoted – and sex starved – Berthe. Her facial expressions and interactions with the main characters are spot-on hilarious. Kearns deservedly earned the loudest applause from the audience at curtain call.”

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“Milwaukee Chamber Theatre’s ‘Boeing Boeing’ a funny farce that stays right on schedule”

Matthew Reddin with The Wisconsin Gazette gives Boeing Boeing a thumbs up!

“Perhaps the most striking thing about Cotey’s direction of the play is that it never feels rushed, even as the door-slamming picks up in the second act. Rather than accelerating story beats to indicate a heightening level of chaos and panic, Bernard, Robert and Berthe’s interactions with the rotating flight attendants stretch on and on, every second increasing the chance that another door will pop open. It’s a reliance on suspense over slapstick — not that there’s no slapstick; this is a farce, after all — that makes the production seem smart, not silly.”

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“Hilarious ‘Boeing Boeing’ takes flight at Chamber Theatre”

Milwaukee Chamber Theatre’s ‘Boeing Boeing’ was a hit with reviewer Mike Fischer!


Learning to Travel Light: The comic routines Cotey has added to this production are too good to give away, but trust me when I tell you that there’s a bit involving Schabach’s Robert and his luggage — a lot of luggage — that will stick with you long after you leave the theater. As the play progresses, Robert travels ever more lightly, shedding the baggage with which he’d arrived while switching to carry-ons that redefine who he is. This is just one of scores of examples of how Cotey’s comic extras aren’t just fun in themselves, but also organically integrated with the play’s themes.

Male Bonding: Camoletti suggests that Bernard and Robert may be more interested in each other than any of the play’s women, and Cotey runs with this, underscoring the homoerotic underpinning to so many male rituals, from secret handshakes to ostensible competition for women — which, here, often reflects Bernard and Robert’s mediated and suppressed desire for each other.

Looking Good, Eleanor: “These air hostess uniforms,” waxes Robert to Bernard,” are “so beautifully cut.” “They’re dazzling! Irresistible!,” Bernard enthusiastically replies. And so they are, thanks to costume designer Eleanor Cotey (married to Michael). “We tweaked the colors to make them pop and be a little more modern to the modern eye,” she said in a recent interview with the Journal Sentinel.

Sending Up Chekhov: There’s a scene between Kearns and Schabach — in which a yearning and lovelorn Berthe makes overtures to Robert — which is so unexpected, so ridiculous and yet so smart that I’d go back to see “Boeing” just to watch this vignette once more. The prospect that these two will ever hook up is preposterous. And yet for all that, Cotey and this duo have made something here that also feels quite real, involving the play’s two loneliest and most interesting characters, briefly thrown together by happenstance.

Michael Wright, Take a Bow: No artistic director in Milwaukee does more to champion and develop local theater artists — or takes more chances while doing so — than C. Michael Wright. It’s Wright who gave a major boost to Cotey’s directorial career in tapping him to direct a Chamber show two years ago.

It’s also Wright who, in conjunction with an ambitious series of collaborations with various university theater programs, helped launch Walaszek when she was still at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside, in a collaboration between Chamber and UW-Parkside on “Bus Stop.”

In addition to showcasing Walaszek, “Boeing” represents the Chamber debut for local theater artist Amber Smith. And it stretches Sostarich, best known for her work in musical theater and terrific in her straight play role here.”

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Costuming and a Theatrical Couple Take Center Stage for ‘Boeing Boeing’

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Jim Higgins interviewed Boeing Boeing’s costume designer Eleanor Cotey and her husband, director, Michael Cotey.

“Michael, though, was shrewd enough to tap his spouse, Eleanor, to costume this show set in the swinging ’60s. ‘I knew she would do the research and get it accurate,’ he said.

The stewardess costumes, representing period looks of Lufthansa, Alitalia and TWA, have been ‘the most fun things to do,’ Eleanor said. “We tweaked the colors to make them pop and be a little more modern to the modern eye.'”

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