Monday, November 5, 2012

Fleetwood Community Theatre served up a laugh-filled ‘Leading Ladies’ reprisal

By Cheryl Thornburg
This weekend Fleetwood Community Theatre served up a second helping of Ken Ludwig’s  outrageous farce, “Leading Ladies” and it was just as hilariously tasty as the first time around.
Tara Sands directed the show at Reading Community Players in April and rounded up almost the entire original cast for these encore performances for FCT’s Dinner & A Show Saturday and Sunday.
Ludwig’s over-the-top farce include classic elements such as men pretending to be women and highly improbable chance encounters to tell the story of two down-on-their-luck Shakespearean actors whose latest gigs have been at Moose Halls and Elks lodges.
Brian Miller and Randy Miller reprise their roles as Leo Clark and Jack Gable, the actors who are trying to resurrect their careers. Just as they are down to their last dollar, they stumble upon a crazy solution.
They read a newspaper ad placed by a wealthy elderly woman who is seeking relatives named Max and Steve who moved to England as children. After she dies, the two would share her fortune with her only other heir, a niece named Meg. 
As luck would have it, they bump into a naïve young woman named Audrey who knows the family and inadvertently tells them all they need to pull it off – with one exception – she doesn’t mention that Max and Steve are women, Maxine and Stephanie.
When Leo and Jack eventually discover this, the insanity really takes off as the guys don ladies’ Shakespearean costumes to create their new personae.
Brian Miller is hilarious as Leo/Maxine, as is Randy Miller as Jack/Stephanie. Together they keep the audience laughing throughout the show.
Matching them in the laughter department are the real ladies of the show.
Lisa Uliasz’ Meg is bubbly and entertaining, particularly when she is raving about her favorite Shakespearean actor -- Leo Clark. When they meet a unique love triangle ensues.
Pat Perfect steals every scene she’s in as the feisty elderly spinster, Florence Snider. Her comedic timing and facial expressions are – as I’m sure she’s heard before – perfect.
Diana D'Auria, another gifted comic actor, is delightfully memorable as the aforementioned Audrey, who makes her entrance on rollerskates.
Rounding out this laugh-inducing cast are John Fielding as Duncan Wooley, Meg’s penny-pinching, rigid fiancé; Bob Barskey as Doc Myers, whose interchanges with Wooley and Florence include some of the best lines in the show; and Jeremiah Hercelroth as Butch, Doc’s son, who is Audrey’s boyfriend. Hercelroth, the newcomer to the cast easily kept up with the more seasoned actors,
The curtain may have closed on this production of “Leading Ladies,” but Fleetwood Community Theatre has another Ken Ludwg show, “The Fox on the Fairway,” on tap for Spring 2013 and the Irving Berlin classic “Annie get Your Gun,” for Summer 2013.  Details will be posted here at Curtain Call as opening night draws near.


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