The recent phenomenon of theaters creating a production in one venue and then moving it to a second for a new audience continues with this production of "Leading Ladies." Produced by the Backstage Theatre, the production was cast and constructed at the Aurora Fox Studio Theatre, where it played for 10 days before moving up the mountain to producer Chris Willard's home theater in Breckenridge. This is a boon for the actors in the show, as they get a mini-vacation in the mountains while continuing a fun show for a new audience - a win/win all around. "Leading Ladies" is a script by Ken Ludwig that features the farcical gimmick of quick changes as lead actors go from male to female and back again. Leo (Zach Andrews) and Jack (Michael Bouchard) are two only moderately talented, unemployed actors who find a newspaper article about lost heirs to a fortune. They decide to become Max and Steve to try to score the money, only to find at the last minute that the missing heirs are women - Maxine and Stephanie. So, armed with their costume trunk of dresses and wigs, they boldly go where no man should go. They are greeted with open arms by Meg (Rachel Bouchard), the third heir. But, surprise, surprise, the supposed corpse is very much alive and shows no signs of slowing down. This is only the first complication in their plot. Duncan (David Blumenstock), the minister/fianc of Meg, is suspicious of the homely "women." Plus the boys find themselves wanting to hang around as Leo becomes enamored of Meg and Jack is attracted to Audrey (Bethany Lillis), a family friend. In trying to cover their tracks and follow their hearts, chaos ensues. It is in Jack and Leo's increasingly frantic attempts to stay ahead of the fire that much of the comedy happens. Rachel Bouchard makes a very touching Meg, whose heart longs for more when her life is circumscribed by a smaller existence. An audible groan came out of the audience when her husband-to-be dismissed her dream of becoming an actress and allowed that he would permit her to have musical evenings at the church. Zach Andrews is an extremely handsome Leo - entirely believable as a frustrated actor and an incredibly homely woman. It's the whole Superman syndrome of glasses/no glasses. How could you not see through his guise? Well, it's a play! Michael Bouchard brings his usual bouncy energy to the role of Jack, whose transformation to a woman allows him to sneak hugs from the slightly dense Audrey. "Give us a hug" is his mantra for the evening. David Blumenstock's suspicious Duncan is played with humor and dubious charm; Edith Weiss reprises her cranky old lady as Florence, the deceased who refuses to stop breathing. The production is directed by Missy Moore. 'Leading Ladies' earns a wow factor of 8.Tickets: www.backstagetheatre.org
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