2017-01-26 / Life in Leelanau

Heads in the Clouds

Dinner theatre production ‘tailor-made’ for county audience
By Patti Brandt Burgess
Of The Enterprise staff


EMILY JULIEN of Leland, Monica Kirk Carmen of Suttons Bay and Danielle Pelshaw of Traverse City play the stewardesses in the Northport Community Arts Center dinner theatre production of “Boeing, Boeing” being held at Tucker’s of Northport on Feb. 3, 4, 10, 11 and 12. EMILY JULIEN of Leland, Monica Kirk Carmen of Suttons Bay and Danielle Pelshaw of Traverse City play the stewardesses in the Northport Community Arts Center dinner theatre production of “Boeing, Boeing” being held at Tucker’s of Northport on Feb. 3, 4, 10, 11 and 12. What do you get when you mix three beautiful stewardesses from three different airlines, a three-timing lothario and his best friend? Throw in a French housekeeper and a good meal and the result is hilarious dinner theatre.

Tucker’s of Northport and the Northport Community Arts Center are once again teaming up for the very popular event, presenting “Boeing, Boeing,” a play that centers around swinging bachelor Bernard, an American architect, and the three stewardesses he is engaged to, unbeknownst to them.

“Boeing, Boeing” was written by French playwright Marc Camoletti and translated into English by Beverly Cross.


JOEL HOARD, left, and Joe Thatcher play the two male leads in “Boeing, Boeing,” being presented as dinner theatre at Tucker’s Restaurant in Northport. Tickets are available by calling the Northport Community Arts Center at 368-5001. JOEL HOARD, left, and Joe Thatcher play the two male leads in “Boeing, Boeing,” being presented as dinner theatre at Tucker’s Restaurant in Northport. Tickets are available by calling the Northport Community Arts Center at 368-5001. The play is being directed by Northport’s own Karen Cross. This is the third dinner theatre at Tucker’s and Cross has directed all three.

They were all comedies, but this one may just top them all.

“This play is different in that the timing is a lot faster,” Cross said. “And I think it’s much funnier.”

Showtimes are at 5:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Feb. 3 and 4; Friday and Saturday, Feb. 10 and 11; and at 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 12.

The menu includes a salad and a choice of four entrees — sauteed chicken picatta, vegetarian picatta, herb-grilled salmon or Burgundybraised beef short ribs. The meal ends with a chocolate raspberry mousse.

Tickets are $50 and can be purchased by calling the NCAC at 368- 5001 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday. But Cross warns theatre goers to buy early, as shows sell out fast.

Cross said she read about 20 scripts before choosing “Boeing, Boeing.” The play jumped out at her because it has the right number of characters for the smaller venue and is not too deep or complex.

It’s also very funny, she said.

“When you sit down and you read a script and it makes you laugh out loud ... ” Cross said. “I wanted something that is light that you can have in a dinner theater situation. This is like that, you can’t miss the humor.”

The action takes place in Bernard’s Paris flat, where his American, Italian and German fiancées swing in and out on different flight schedules. That is, until his friend Robert comes to stay and a new and faster Boeing jet upsets the perfect symmetry of his womanizing ways.

Bernard is played by Joe Thatcher, of Northport, and Robert is played by Joel T. Hoard, of Traverse City. Bonnie Deigh of Traverse City plays Berthe, Bernard’s oft exasperated French housekeeper.

The stewardesses are played by Monica Kirk Carmen of Suttons Bay, who plays Gabriella; Emily Julien of Leland, who plays Gloria; and Danielle Pelshaw of Traverse City, who plays Gretchen. This is the first dinner theatre production for Hoard, who is the theater director for Suttons Bay Schools.

Presenting a play at Tucker’s presents a unique challenge, Cross said, as the cast can’t rehearse in the restaurant and set can’t be taken to the restaurant until just before the show opens.

Rehearsals are being done at Suttons Bay School in the auditorium and the library. Five days before the show starts they’ll head to the new Northport Arts building on Mill Street, where they’ll rehearse some more.

The set will be taken to Tucker’s on Wednesday night and assembled, and dress rehearsal will be held Thursday morning before the restaurant opens, with the show debuting on Friday.

“It’s a huge undertaking,” Cross said.

Dinner theater is a more intimate setting, with just 80 tickets sold per show. People are seated banquet style and can interact with other play-goers, unlike at a theater, Cross said. She said the play is tailor-made for a Leelanau audience.

“Many people who live in our community and in our county have lived through this time period,” she said. “And they will remember what it was like to not have to go through the security they do now, that everybody dressed up when they flew.”

It was also a time when women’s career options were fewer, when women became secretaries, nurses, teachers or stewardesses.

“In some ways it’s a spoof on that time,” she said. “The social mores were different. The play is a fantastic blast from the past that will make you laugh.”

And it comes with a great meal, she said.

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