Boeing, Boeing Redux

I am glad to see that Boeing Boeing has opened on Broadway, because it brings back memories of when I saw the farce performed in London in 1962. I thought it quite silly (a bachelor has multiple affairs with stewardesses, whose schedules are such that they are never in Paris at the same time until the schedule changes (I don’t remember the details, but I thought it was because they switched from prop planes to jets, and the review said simply that a plane arrived ahead of schedule; maybe they had to change to this less satisfactory explanation because no one today would believe that there were airplanes before jets) and one arrives before the previous one leaves. I probably had never seen a farce before and, although it had its funny moments, I am not sure I wanted to rush out and see one again. In looking at the very positive review in this morning’s WSJ, I see that it opened in London in 1962 and ran 2035 performances, and that it opened in New York in 1965 and closed after 19. It will do better this time, I guess.

I also saw Agatha Christie’s “The Mousetrap” in London in 1962; I think it had already played there ten years or more, and I saw it again in the 1990s when it was still going strong.

My theater habits seem to change, though, and I am now going to much more profound shows, aren’t I? But yesterday, I heard on WETA the overture to “The Gondeliers” and wondered: what happened to Gilbert and Sullivan? I have not run into either of them for some time now.


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