Friday, May 29, 2009

Leading Ladies

Not one, but two guys in drag. Need I say more?

Probably not, but I will anyway. Leading Ladies is a scream. I didn't take many notes because I was too busy laughing. But it's got everything a great farce should -- lots of slapstick, great one-liners, quick changes, mistaken intentions, perfect timing and a superb cast.

The play revolves around two penniless Shakespearean actors, Leo Clark and Jack Gable, who decide to impersonate the nieces of a wealthy old woman in order to claim the inheritance. Kevin Kimsey and Jeff Thomson are perfect counterpoints to each other: Kevin Kimsey as the brash, scheming Leo, and Thomson as his reluctant accomplice, Jack.

Becky Kimsey plays vivacious Meg, and Sarah Hull stars as dim-witted and busty Audrey -- the women Leo and Jack fall for and attempt to woo, despite the fact that they must frequently appear in female form. Becky Kimsey created some wonderful chemistry between her character and Leo Clark/Maxine. Hull delivered her one-liners and her Brando impersonation with gusto. Both women had marvelous reactions during the scene where Leo and Jack unintentionally reveal themselves to be men, and their reactions help make it one of the funniest scenes in the play.

Sean McBride was every inch the sanctimonious, stick-in-the-mud Southern preacher. I loved Bonnie Peacher as Florence Snyder, the ailing yet spunky aunt whose search for her nieces (and heirs) sets the plot in motion. Although Patrick Schow stumbled on a few lines the night I saw the show, he and theater newcomer Owen Havey had some wonderful moments of physical comedy, and their attempts to woo Stephanie (Thomson) had the audience in stitches.

The play runs May 29-31 and June 4-7 and 11-13 at Stage Coach Theatre. Check it out if you're ready for a good laugh.

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