Leading Ladies offers cure to winter doldrums

Missoula Community Theatre stages Ken Ludwig’s laugh-laden farce Jan. 23-Feb. 2

On Stage

Shake off those winter doldrums with Missoula Community Theatre’s production of Ken Ludwig’s farce, “Leading Ladies,” Jan. 23-Feb. 2 at the MCT Center for the Performing Arts.

Ludwig’s comedies (“Lend Me a Tenor,” “Crazy for You,” “Baskerville,” and so many more!) are legendary for their fast pace, flamboyant characters and clever antics of mistaken identity.

“Identity has always been one of the biggest puzzles each individual has to solve for themselves,” says director Rosie Seitz Ayers. “This play delightfully reminds us how to be true to ourselves and keep looking to find where we relate to others rather than compare our differences.”

“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.

Ayers notes that non-stop laughing among the cast has been a rollicking disruption during rehearsals. “This cast is amazingly talented and comprised of truly comic geniuses,” she says.

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.”

A well-known regional performer and teaching artist herself, as well as a director, Ayers adds that the “Leading Ladies” cast and crew “look forward to rehearsal all day and don’t want to leave when it is over.”

She suspects the audiences for “Leading Ladies” will have the very same experience.

Show times are 7:30 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturdays and 2 and 6:30 p.m. Sundays, Jan. 23-Feb. 2. Tickets

Tickets for Leading Ladies are available at MCTinc.org; by calling 406-728-PLAY(7529); or at the MCT Box Office, which is open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday.