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PPT play: Leading Ladies

Who doesn’t love a comedy featuring men in drag?
The latest Piedmont Players Theatre production, “Leading Ladies,” falls smack dab into the “frothy summer fun” tradition established by PPT.
A comedy by Ken Ludwig, who wrote the popular “Lend me a Tenor,” this play is full of slamming doors and gender-bending mayhem.
The plot is implausible, but does it really matter?
It’s the early 1950s, and two English Shakespearean actors, Jack and Leo, are down on their luck. They’ve been reduced to performing “Scenes from Shakespeare” on the Moose Lodge circuit in Pennsylvania.
When they hear that a wealthy old dowager (Carole Davis) is about to die and leave everything to her long-lost nephews, they plot to pass themselves off as the would-be heirs in order to cash in.
Complications ensue, as they say, when the men find that the long-lost relatives are not nephews but nieces.
Using their costume trunk, they make do with what’s there. Leo (Marc Trent Tucker) uses a Cleopatra costume to transform himself into Maxine while Jack (Jonathan Furr) morphs into Stephanie (dressed as the fairy Queen Titania, complete with wings).
Of course a comedy needs romance, and things get interesting when Leo/Maxine falls in love with the old lady’s niece Meg (Jessica Walker) who is engaged to Parson Duncan (Michael Henry Carter) ó who has his own designs on Florence’s money.
Meanwhile, Jack/Stephanie finds himself attracted to roller-skating Audrey (Beth Porter), who’s kind of interested in Butch ( Johnny “J.B” Johnson), the son of Florence’s flaky doctor (Phillip Shore).
“Leading Ladies” will take the stage at 7:30 p.m. July 17-19 and 23-26 . A matinee performance will be held at 2:30 p.m. Sunday July 20.
Tickets are $15 adults, $12 seniors and students, and $10 Wednesdays.
Piedmont Players is located at 213 S. Main Street in downtown Salisbury.
Call 704-633-5471 to reserve your tickets.
Box office will open July 14 at 9:00 AM.

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