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Ken Ludwig's Leading Ladies is a comedy play by Ken Ludwig. It involves two Shakespearean actors who find themselves in the Amish country of York, Pennsylvania, mounting Shakespeare plays. The play, a co-production of the Alley Theatre (Houston) and The Cleveland Playhouse, premiered in 2004, directed by Ludwig.
Set in York, Pennsylvania in 1958, this farce centers on two down-on-their-luck Shakespearean actors, Leo Clark and Jack Gable. The pair discover through a newspaper that Florence, an older ailing woman, has been unable to find Max and Steve, her sister's children who moved away to England as children in order to include them in her multi-million dollar inheritance. They decide to pose as Max and Steve to claim portions of it. When they discover that "Max" and "Steve" are actually "Maxine" and "Stephanie," they continue on, undaunted, in drag. Leo falls for Florence's actual niece Meg, while Jack swoons over Florence's part-time aide Audrey. Florence recovers just as the pair arrives, but they decide to keep on, both to try to outlast her health and to stay close to the objects of their interest. Leo convinces Meg, who is enamored of Shakespeare and a fan of Jack and Leo, to put on a production at Florence's estate, to give himself more of an opportunity to be with her, both as Leo and Maxine. Meanwhile, Meg's fiance Duncan grows increasingly suspicious of the "Leading Ladies."
The play premiered at The Alley Theatre in Houston, Texas in October 2004. Directed by Ludwig, the costumes were by Judith Dolan and sets by Neil Patel. The cast: The play played an engagement at the Cleveland Playhouse in September 2004.
- Erin Dilly .... Meg
- Brent Barrett .... Leo
- Lacey Kohl .... Audrey
- Marc Jacoby .... Duncan
- Jane Connell .... Florence
- Dan Lauria .... Doc
- Tim McGeever .... Butch
- Divadlo Na Fidlovačce, Prague
- Czech name: V korzetu pro tetu. Directed by Petr Rychlý. The play had premiere 10 September 2009.
- Megan McCormick .... Meg
- Marek Holý .... Leo
- Denny Ratajský .... Jack
- Zuzana Vejvodová .... Audrey
- Daniel Rous .... Duncan
- Lilian Malkina .... Florence
- Václav Svoboda .... Doctor
- Kanata Theatre, Ottawa, ON
- The Gateway Theatre, Richmond, BC
- Luisa Jojic .... Meg
- Peter Jorgensen .... Leo
- Allan Zynik .... Jack
- Tara Davis .... Audrey
- Jenifer Darbellay .... Stephanie
- William Samples .... Doctor
- Chris Robson .... Reverend Wooley
- Mariebergsskogen Karlstad, Sweden
- Simonson, Robert. Ken Ludwig Now Slated to Direct Own Leading Ladies at Alley and Cleveland" playbill.com, May 14, 2004
- Hernandez, Ernio. "Ken Ludwig's Leading Ladies with Lauria, Barrett, Connell, Dilly Plays Houston's Alley, Oct. 15" October 15, 2004