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Brent Barrett and Chris Duva in the Alley Theatre production of Leading Ladies, directed by Ken Ludwig; PC: T. Charles Erickson

Articles

Phoenix Theatre's Leading Ladies Is More Like Men Behaving Badly

It’s Some Like it Hot for a new generation! From the author of Lend Me a Tenor, Ken Ludwig’s Leading Ladies, is a hilarious new comedy making its Southwest debut at Phoenix Theatre on January 10, 2007.

Directed by Brad Carroll, this rousing comedy about two down-on-their-luck actors take a twist when they hear that an old lady is dying and will leave her fortune to her two long lost English nephews. They resolve to pass themselves off as her beloved relatives long enough to receive their inheritance. The trouble starts when they arrive at her estate and find out that the relatives aren't nephews, but nieces! This new, laugh-out-loud premiere is full of love, deceit, cheating, stealing and, oh yeah, men in pantyhose.

Written by the witty and crowd-pleasing playwright, Ludwig, this new comedic drama follows his successful line-up of stage productions including Moon Over Buffalo, Shakespeare In Hollywood and Lend Me a Tenor. Producing Artist Director, Michael Barnard, simply can’t wait to debut one of the author’s newest works for one easy reason.

“Men disguised as women has proven to be one of the greatest comedic devices in movies and plays for decades,” says Producing Artistic Director, Michael Barnard. “From Some Like It Hot to Tootise to Mrs. Doubtfire, there’s just something funny about watching a man trying to walk in heels, wear a dress and act like a lady.”

Ludwig has won numerous awards and several Tony nominations for his work. His musical Crazy For You ran for five years on Broadway and four years in the West End winning Tony, Olivier, Drama Desk and Helen Hayes Awards as Best Musical of the Year. Lend Me A Tenor (produced by Andrew Lloyd Webber) has proven to be one of the most popular comedies of the past 25 years, winning two Tony Awards. His work has been translated into 16 languages and performed in more than 30 countries.

The leading men taking the stage, and most of the laughs, are Dion Johnson, as Leo and Christian Miller, as Jack.

The supporting cast includes Peggy Lord Chilton, as Florence; Katherine Stewart, as Meg; Brad Grubenhoff, as Butch; Mike Lawler, as Doc; Brian Runbeck, as Duncan; and Ashley Stults, as Audrey.
So how does actor Dion Johnson feel about his upcoming role that has him looking like a leading lady in most scenes?

“I always look for challenging work that stretches me as an actor. Who am I kidding? I just wanted to put on a dress and heels,” says actor Dion Johnson. “To be honest, I have a feeling that after this show, I won’t be able to complain again about my girlfriend taking so long to get ready.”

Leading Ladies previews January 10 and 11, 2007 and opens January 12 with a limited
run through January 28. Performances are Wednesday – Saturday at 8PM and Sunday
matinee’s at 2PM. Additional performances: Saturday, January 13 at 3PM; Sunday,
January 21 at 7PM (ALS Performance). The Tuesday, January 23 performance is at
7:30PM.

Tickets are $32 each and student rush tickets are $10 each if purchased 60 minutes
prior to show time with valid student ID, when available.

By www.phoenixtheatre.com

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Erin Dilley and Brent Barrett in the Alley Theatre production of Leading Ladies, director: Ken Ludwig; PC: T. Charles Erickson

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