Sunday, November 2, 2008

Mini review - Leading Ladies

Leading Ladies
by Ken Ludwig
directed by Richard Israel
Actors Co-op
through November 16
The more I see Ken Ludwig (Lend Me a Tenor, Moon Over Buffalo, now Leading Ladies), the more I am convinced that he is our greatest American farceur.
Since I saw this production late in its run, my words will be brief but I am long on praise. This representation of Ladies' silly, campy romp is sheer magic. As one audience member declared, "It's so funny!"
The outstanding cast make it seem fresh and spontaneous: Bruce Ladd and Kyle Nudo, (pictured) as Leo/Maxene and Jack/Stephanie, respectively: crazed to the max, Karla Droege delicious as Meg, Tawny Mertes, the cute pixie Audrey, Barbara Kerr Condon, a scream as Florence, the old aunt who refuses to lie down and die, Gus Corrado as old but unreliable Doc, Aaron Misakian as goofy but hunky Butch and guest star Carl J. Johnson so good as the greedy , overly self-righteous minister Duncan. Director Richard Israel does a masterful job with pacing the entire piece.
Ludwig loves to have his actors enact Shakespeare within his plays. It fits so consistently with the quick pace, theatricality and over-the-top flambuoyant performances that make farce sparkle. A sparkling production this is, indeed!
5 out of 5 stars


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