It’s a lighthearted farce with a couple of love stories thrown in.
Leading Ladies, the play by Ken Ludwig, opens Oct. 18 at the Cultural Centre, in the latest production by the Chilliwack Players’ Guild.
“You have to suspend credulity to believe in the outlandish plot lines in Leading Ladies,” says director Graham Archer. “But everyone is gullible in a farce. That’s what leads to some of the hilarious situations they get into.”
The ‘leading ladies’ are two Shakespearean actors, Jack and Leo, who find themselves performing on the backwater circuit.
When an elderly lady is about to leave her fortune to her two long-lost English nephews, they decided to try to pass themselves off as her relatives to get the cash.
The plot thickens when it turns out they aren’t nephews at all, but nieces.
“Max” and “Steve” are actually “Maxine” and “Stephanie,” but they continue on, undaunted, dressed in drag to earn the inheritance.
There is a nod to the movie, Some Like it Hot, with Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis dressing up as women, in Leading Ladies, says the director.
“Ludwig put in a couple of elements, like the tango scene which reminds you of Jack Lemmon,” he says.
“It’s very funny.”
Some of the comedy is physical, with a roller-skating session and some chases scenes.
“Two guys walking in high heels is pretty physical.”
It helps if you know a little about William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, Archer says.
“Ludwig uses that play to show off some of the more humorous moments.”
In Leading Ladies, a young woman playing a man in the Twelfth Night is being wooed by a man who is dressed as a woman.
“It’s even funnier if you’re a little bit familiar with Shakespeare.”
“It’s really going to be a great show. It’s pure entertainment.”
Set design and construction was by Matt Brisson. Costumes by Mary Spani and Chrystal Romano and stage manager is Becki Cormier.
Leading Ladies, Oct. 18 to Oct. 27, over eight performances, tickets $20/$15 stud/sen.
Tickets at 604.391.SHOW (7469)