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Leading Ladies

a Comedy
by Ken Ludwig

COMPANY : Lionheart Theatre Company [WEBSITE]
VENUE : Norcross Community and Cultural Arts Center
ID# 2760

SHOWING : May 02, 2008 - May 18, 2008



In this hilarious comedy by the author of LEND ME A TENOR and MOON OVER BUFFALO , two English Shakespearean actors, Jack and Leo, find themselves so down on their luck that they are performing "Scenes from Shakespeare" on the Moose Lodge circuit in the Amish country of Pennsylvania.

When they hear that an old lady in York, PA is about to die and leave her fortune to her two long lost English nephews, they resolve to pass themselves off as her beloved relatives and get the cash. The trouble is, when they get to York, they find out that the relatives aren't nephews, but nieces! Romantic entanglements abound, especially when Leo falls head-over-petticoat in love with the old lady's vivacious niece, Meg, who's engaged to the local minister. Meg knows that there's a wide world out there, but it's not until she meets "Maxine and Stephanie" that she finally gets a taste of it. (Synopsis from Samuel French, Inc.)

Director Sophie Gatins
Florence Snider Sheila Allen
Meg Chrystie Brooks
Leo Clark/Maxine J. Michael Carroll
Doc Tim Link
Audrey Jamie Link
Duncan Wooley Joseph McLaughlin
Jack Gable/Stephanie Bob Smith
Butch Joe Weissinger
Click to Submit Cast & Crew Info for this production


Witty and delightful
by theaterislife
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
My husband and I attended the second to last performance of this show and wish I had gotten my review in sooner. I had never heard of Leading Ladies prior to attending this show and found it to be a wonderful and witty show. I had also never attended a show by Lionheart Theater so it was a night of firsts.

First off I would love to see a larger performance space. This theater is an old church and there seems to be a good amount of building space. The seating is extremely limited. There may be room for about 75 and that is pushing it. If the other performances of Lionheart Theater are as good as this one was, it would be in their best interest to expand to a larger theater.

The sound was at a decent level, not too loud not too quiet, and the music used during the scene changes was of the 50’s and 60’s so the crowd (mostly of those in their 40’s and up) knew the songs and were tapping their foot and humming along. I think that bought more of an intimacy to the show for some reason. The lighting was adequate though at times it was a bit dim but I understand the limitations this venue must have. The costuming was appropriate….well except for Meg’s “sexy dress” we could have sexed it up just a little more and not been vulgar.

In the opening I wasn’t sure it was going to be a great show, the first scene between Duncan and Meg was a bit odd because I couldn’t decide if it was a father/daughter or husband/wife relationship. Learning later that they were engaged was still distracting to me because he clearly appeared to be significantly older that her. That doesn’t in any way detract from the actors themselves because they were wonderful. The scene with the moose lodge (?) was a little confusing in the beginning but got better towards the end of that scene.

From then on the show seemed to really blossom into a great production. The comedic timing of all actors involved was impeccable especially Jack and Leo. Those two are some of the better comedic actors I have seen in Community Theater. The only thing that bothered me a bit was that Jack (Bob Smith) went in and out of his accent. It would go from British to a muddled Irish to British with a hint of American. That was distracting but overall he was a great actor. For me the true stand out was J Michael Carroll as Leo. He was fantastic and certainly possesses the ability to be in a Broadway show. I don’t toss that idea around lightly but he was phenomenal. The only character I didn’t particularly care for was Butch. I felt that the show could have moved without that character, I found it to be flat. I don’t know if that was the actor portraying Butch or if it is just the way the show was written. The supporting players were excellent as well. I really enjoyed Jamie Link’s portrayal of the ditzy know-it-all, Doc (Tim Link) and his snide yet funny attitude towards Duncan and marriage, and Florence (Sheila Allen) was a scene stealer with her sarcastic in your face delivery, what a riot!

Overall I really did enjoy this performance, and the yummy (free…well included in cost of ticket) desserts, wine and coffee served at intermission, that was a nice touch. The actors had such wonderful chemistry together as another reviewer stated it must have been a blast to work on this show with such talented people. I have to say that I was extremely impressed with the direction of Sophie Gatins. She is young but if this is the work she brings now once can only imagine the greatness she will achieve in the next several years.

Why the 4.5??? The venue is what made me subtract points…..and we know that none of the shows I ever see are perfect but this one came close to being perfect for Community Theater.

I only wish those that didn't see it still had a chance. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]
by Parrott65
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Recently, I went to see this production, and was pleasantly surprised at the production/peformances. I was invited by Tanya Carroll, who is a very nice lady I must say, because it looks like the MAT Awards will be picking them up for next season. For starters, attending the Norcross Cultural Arts Center and viewing a Lionheart production was a first for me. I live in Woodstock and work on the southside of town. So, going to Gwinnett is a rare occasion. Normally, when I attend a show I've never heard of, I usually look into what it's about before going to see it. It sounded like a serious drama, but didn't realize how absolutely hilarious the show really is until I watched it.
The director did a fantastic job of putting this together. I thought the casting was an excellent choice. Although, I almost felt a little creeped out by the Reverend and his fiance's age differences. It almost came across as wondering if either Duncan was a craddle robber or she was a gold digger. Either way, it detracted (in a small way) from believing their relationship. I realize this is community theater and about 90% of productions usually have a limited choice on talent, or a good physical fit, that can really round out a show. However, this director did some excellent casting, or recruiting, due to the performances I witnessed. The blocking was outstanding. The use of the space was phenominal. The actors were clearly given some, in depth, direction by Sophie Gatins that shined throughout the show.
First, let me get to the two negatives I saw. I did have some problems with Doc (Tim Link) and his son. For example, there was a scene where they were supposed to be rehearsing their lines for the "upcoming play". Doc and his son were sitting on the stairwell, off to the side, while some dialogue was going on by other characters. I am very attentive to what's going on around the main focal point of any scene and the fact that they were just sitting there and not interacting, not pretending to be rehearsing their lines, and doing absolutely nothing really bothered me. This could have been noticed and the notes given to the actors by Sophie, but they obviously didn't listen to her if she did. I will say that Tim Link, other than a couple of areas where he wasn't believable in his role, did a great job beyond that. The second negative aspect is what I mentioned in the previous paragraph about the Reverend and his fiance's age variance.
That's it!! That is all I have for a negative review of this show, because the rest was outstanding. Sheila Allen had me in tears, laughing, every time she stepped on stage. J. Michael Carroll was so professional in his performance, that he drew me in every time he appeared. Jamie Link did an excellent Audrey, so innocent. Joseph McLaughlin was a believable Duncan Wooley and I thought his character's demeanor fit that of a judgemental Reverend. Bob Smith was an extremely visual actor. His physical reactions to the stresses his character had to endure were absolutely, side splitting, funny. I can't remember, for the life of me, the character's name of the fiance'. What was it? If I had the blasted program in front of me, I'd know. Regardless, she was very energetic in her role, and showed that she's clearly received training at some point in her acting career.
The set design was pretty good, given the space they have to work with. It certainly acheived everything that the director intended. Lighting was ok. I know they are limited on technology at that location (assuming they are just getting it off the ground). Sound cues were flawless.
The drive to Norcross for me was, by far, well worth the trip. Lionheart Theatre Co, if all of their shows were as good as this, will be a huge addition to the MAT program for next year. This was one show that, I wish, I had known about before hand. I would loved to have auditioned for it, because it was probably a blast for the cast to be involved with. Amazing show. Amazing show.... [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]


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