Rylance and Whitford Expected to Star in Broadway's Boeing Boeing

News   Rylance and Whitford Expected to Star in Broadway's Boeing Boeing
Mark Rylance is expected to repeat his star turn as Robert in the Broadway run of Boeing Boeing, the 1960s London smash that has been a recent hit all over again on the West End.

Mark Rylance in Boeing Boeing
Mark Rylance in Boeing Boeing Photo by Manuel Harlan

Rylance told Playbill's Harry Haun that he and Bradley Whitford (TV's "The West Wing," "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip," Broadway's A Few Good Men, Off-Broadway's Three Days of Rain) — as Robert's would-be polygamist pal, Bernard — will appear in the Broadway revival this spring. Whitford and Rylance had also been mentioned in an earlier casting notice for the production.

Marc Camoletti and Beverley Cross' play concerns a swingin' bachelor and his three stewardess fiancées (Gloria, Gabriella and Gretchen). As previously reported, Matthew Warchus (The Lord of the Rings, Broadway's recent Life x 3, Follies and True West) will again direct.

Casting and creative choices have not been officially announced by the producers.

The new hit London production of the British sex farce — a title known as a staple in American stock, amateur and dinner theatres over the past 35 years — will be produced on Broadway by Sonia Friedman Productions, ACT Productions, Matthew Byam Shaw, Robert Bartner and Bob Boyett, according to an earlier casting notice.

The romp (whose punny title refers to the aircraft manufacturer Boeing and evokes the bouncy onomatopoeic word "boing") evokes the good old/bad old days when "air hostesses" and "stewardesses" were playthings rather than "flight attendants." March rehearsals will lead to a spring 2008 Broadway opening. Tony Award nominee Warchus gave the durable comedy fresh life in London's West End in 2007, at the Comedy Theatre. It closed in the West End Jan. 5, 2008.

In the play, Bernard, a fortyish architect living in Paris (originated by Roger Allam in the 2007 revival), juggles three "air hostess" fiancées — one Italian, one American, one German — with the help of his housekeeper (Frances de la Tour in 2007). Things don't go smoothly when he tries to show off his situation to Robert (Rylance), his old college pal.

Boeing Boeing originally opened in London in the early '60s and held the world record for the longest-running comedy in the West End, playing over 2,000 performances. It transferred to Broadway for a brief 23-performance run in 1965, but later took off as a licensable property in theatres around the U.S.

John Rich directed the film version starring Tony Curtis and Jerry Lewis.

Olivier Award winner Rylance is currently starring in the Guthrie Theater's Peer Gynt in Minnesota. Boeing Boeing will mark the actor's Broadway debut.

The Tony-winning actress of The History Boys, Frances de la Tour (as a harassed housekeeper), and Rylance were up for 2007 Evening Standard Theatre Awards for Boeing Boeing.

Rhea Perlman (TV's "Cheers") was one of the 2007 replacements in de la Tour's role of Bertha the housekeeper.

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