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'Ladies' promises laughter

November 17, 2010

Brody Smith, left, and Eric Valle perform a scene from "Leading Ladies," a comedy to be staged by the Howard College Theater Department this weekend. (HERALD photo/Steve Reagan)

The Howard College Theater Department has determined that it's time to get farcical.

To open its season, the department will present “Leading Ladies” — a comedy of errors similar in tone to the classic Jack Lemmon/Tony Curtis/Marilyn Monroe movie, “Some Like It Hot” — Friday through Sunday at the Hall Center for the Arts on the HC campus.

Performance times are 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, with a Sunday matinee scheduled for 2 p.m. Admission prices are $5 for adults and $3 for students.

Theater Department Director Kirk Davidson said the play will appeal to fans of comedy.

“The play is set in 1958 and involves two out-of-work Shakespearian actors who find out a woman is going to leave her fortune to two people named Max and Steve, so they decide to impersonate Max and Steve,” Davidson said. “What they don't find out until later is that Max and Steve are short for Maxine and Stephanie.”

There's plenty of female impersonation, gender-bending and double entendre going on here, but the show's heart is in the right place, Davidson said.

“It's really inspired by 'Some Like It Hot,' and the way Billy Wilder made it innocent even with the double entendres,” he said. “Even with the guys in dresses, it's clear they don't want to be in dresses — they want to be near the women in the dresses … I guess you can say this is rated PG-13.”

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