The dark January doldrums can be effortlessly shaken off with powerful belly laughs, which is one reason the Missoula Community Theatre is presenting Ken Ludwig’s hilarious non-musical farce, Leading Ladies, Jan. 23-Feb. 2 at the MCT Center for the Performing Arts. Ludwig’s comedies (Lend Me a Tenor) are legendary for their fast pace, flamboyant characters, and clever antics of mistaken identity. Leading Ladies is the story of Meg, a young woman in 1958 York, PA, who yearns for more than she can see from her front yard. As she cares for her ailing, wealthy aunt, Meg encounters two exciting and inventive out-of-work Shakespearean actors, Leo and Jack, who are masquerading as her cousins, Maxine and Stephanie, in hopes of inheriting a fortune. Hilarity ensues and love blooms as these characters find themselves in new and crazy situations. Director Rosie Seitz Ayers notes that laughing with the cast non-stop has been a rollicking disruption during rehearsals. “This cast is amazingly talented and truly comic geniuses. Although the play is set in 1958, the hijinks, characters and themes are timeless. We have found a way to allow the perspective of now to influence our view of the past while keeping the classic nature and authentic image of the time period.” Rated PG-13.
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