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Grant Goodman as Bernard in Boeing Boeing

Thomason, Goodman, Mattfeld, Geisslinger, 2014 Boeing Boeing
Geisslinger, Goodman, Mattfeld, 2014 Boeing Boeing
Towne, Mattfeld, Griffen, Boeing Boeing 2014

Thomason, Goodman, Mattfeld, Geisslinger, 2014 Boeing Boeing

Geisslinger, Goodman, Mattfeld, 2014 Boeing Boeing

Our fall season kicks off this week with Boeing Boeing.

Grant Goodman plays Bernard, the 60s playboy with three fiancées. Grant is also playing Orsino in Twelfth Night and appeared in Sense and Sensibility this summer. We had a fun conversation outside the Hunter Conference Center, enjoying the sounds of demolition across the street as old buildings came down to make room for the Beverley Taylor Sorenson Center for the Arts.

Tell us about this play.

It’s a perfectly constructed, door slamming, bedroom farce. It’s a well-oiled machine. That’s the thing about farce. It’s not a deep psychological study by any stretch of imagination. It is like a Jenga puzzle. It’s so dependent on timing. The farce is like doing algebra – it has to be so precise. Timing is everything.

The play had a revival starting in 2008. It wasn’t popular when it first appeared in the 1960s. People didn’t want to hear about a Lothario bachelor with 3 fiancées. Now we can look back at it as a period piece and a piece of nostalgia. That’s what’s fun about it. It’s the swinging 60s with a bachelor pad – animal prints, wall paper, and velvet paintings. We’re having fun with the period and the stereotypes.

Sounds like it’s pretty physical.

Yes, it is. Our first read through, we sat around the table and we looked at each other thinking “this is terrible.” Then we stood up on our feet, got moving, and then it worked.

It’s very physical – Quinn (Mattfeld, who plays Robert) and I have the bruises to prove it, all over our bodies from lots of prat falls.

What about the characters?

It’s important that you have interesting relationships. Quinn and I are old school chums and he’s come to Paris to visit me. Chris (Moore, the director) has made us distinct: I’m the man about town and Quinn is the back woods guy from Wisconsin. There are fun accents in the show, but I’m the only one who doesn’t have an accent.

People in a comedy don’t know they’re in a comedy. You have to mine that.

Towne, Mattfeld, Griffen, Boeing Boeing 2014

What are your thoughts about the Festival?

I love it here! One of the reasons I’m happy to be here is the audiences and the ownership that the they have over the Festival. It’s nice to have smart audiences. I’ll be interested in the fall crowd and how they’re going to react.

I hope people enjoy the play – it’s a fun, fast romp!

You can visit http://www.bard.org/plays/boeing2014.html to learn more about the play.

Boeing, Boeing opens September 17 in preview and runs through October 18. You can buy tickets at www.bard.org or by calling 800-PLAYTIX.

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Photos by Karl Hugh. 


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