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Friday, April 26, 2019

Himmelbergers Talk About Their “Boeing Boeing" Roles; Performances are This Friday, Saturday and Sunday, April 26, 27 & 28

Titus Himmelberger is Bernard, the lead 
character in "Boeing Boeing." His wife 
Natalie plays Gabriella, one of Bernard's 
three fiancées.
Husband and wife, Titus and Natalie Himmelberger are main characters in Hamilton-Gibson's production of "Boeing Boeing."

This classic comedy opens at 7:30 p.m. this Friday and Saturday, April 26 and 27 and at 2:30 p.m. this Sunday, April 28 in the Warehouse Theatre at 3 Central Avenue in Wellsboro. Performances will also be at 7:30 p.m. on May 3 and 4.

Set in the late 1960s, “Boeing Boeing” follows a day in the life of Bernard, an American architect living in Paris. Played by Titus Himmelberger, Bernard has a perfectly ordered life, which he shares with his three beautiful fiancées. All are hostesses with different airlines. Gloria, played by Samantha Coolidge, flies for TWA; Gabriella, played by Natalie Himmelberger, for Alitalia; and Gretchen, played by Sarah Brion, for Lufthansa. This ensures that they rotate through Bernard’s apartment on different schedules. It is the perfect set up for the perfect life. Until today that is when all of the schedules are just a bit off.

"I have no doubt that the audience will find this play hilarious and enjoy it," Titus said. "It takes place in the dining room and kitchen area. It's a very clean play."

"I think the audience will love it," Natalie said. It’s good, innocent fun. The reason it's so funny is because of the plot. It has a Scooby-Doo feel to it with lots of comings and goings. The way the stage is set up, it is like you are peeking into someone’s apartment so everyone in the audience can be a good, nosy neighbor. There are no bedroom scenes in this play, no curse words and no innuendo. If you need to rate it, I would say no more than PG, if that. Youngsters under 9 will find humor in it," she said.

Titus and Natalie met thanks to Hamilton-Gibson Productions. "I first got involved with Hamilton-Gibson in 2009. I was new in town. At church Thomas Putnam (HG artistic director) said to me 'You should come and audition,' so I did. In 2010, I was in my first HG show 'Love, Sex and the IRS'," said Natalie.

Titus did his first HG show in September of 2013. "I played Walter Goodwin," Titus said. Thomas Putnam had asked me to audition."

In October of 2015, HG Director Gabe Hakvaag presented his first radio show. "I played Dracula and Natalie was cast as the woman who killed Dracula," Titus said. In a 10-month period in 2016, they each had roles in "Once Upon a Wolf" directed by Hakvaag and in "Oliver" and "Miracle on 34th Street" both directed by Putnam. "My character in 'Oliver' was Bill Sykes; he killed his girlfriend Nancy played by Natalie," said Titus. "Titus's character killed me in 'Oliver’ but my character Mina killed his character in ‘Dracula’ so all is fair in love and war," Natalie said laughing.

Titus was involved in the 2017 and 2018 HG radio festivals. In 2017, he directed seven radio plays and portrayed characters in six others. “In 2018, I only produced one weekend of radio plays and directed two of them,” Titus said.

In 2017, Natalie helped with lights and sound for "One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest" and for the 2017 and 2018 radio festivals. She directed a radio show in 2018 and played various characters both years.

In 2018, Natalie and Titus also planned their wedding and on July 28 in North Carolina were married by her father, a pastor. “That was one of the two free Saturdays between the third and fourth radio show weekends,” Titus said. “We were back in Wellsboro for the last radio plays," said Natalie.

"I like being an unhinged, goofy guy like Bernard," Titus said. "In one scene in ‘Boeing Boeing,’ he is on top of the world and in the next he is groveling on the floor praying that his life doesn’t fall apart. He is not a bad guy except he has fooled three women into thinking they are the only one,” said Titus.

"It was nice of Clare Marie Ritter, our director to cast my wife as Gabriella, the fiancée that Bernard likes the best,” Titus said.

"I love being Gabriella because she is Italian, loud, warm, loving, high maintenance," said Natalie. "She is exuberant, pouty, flirty - a bit of a roller coaster. Gabriella is suspicious. She senses Bernard is hiding something from her but doesn’t know what,” Natalie said.

"I think it's hilarious that Titus is playing Bernard. It’s fun to watch him portray this frazzled, slightly nutty character because that’s not who Titus is. That’s what acting is all about - becoming someone else," said Natalie.

Sponsors are Ken and Donna Mettler and Matthews Motor Company. Admission for adults is $12 and $6 for youth, 18 and under. A $60 FlexPass is also available. Purchase tickets online at the HG website at hamiltongibson@org or via links to TicketLeap on HG's Facebook page. For information, call 570-724-2079 or email hamgib@gmail.com.

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