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The big con: Woodbury Community Theatre tackles frantic farce

Woodbury

Anyone who has ever attempted to forge a career in the theater can tell you that the term "struggling actor" is redundant.

Consider the case of Leo Clark and Jack Gable, the hard-luck protagonists of "Leading Ladies."

The Woodbury Community Theatre production runs Feb. 10-26 at the Black Box in the Merrill Community Arts Center at East Ridge High School.

Things have really gone south for Leo and Jack. The two English actors are touring Pennsylvania Amish country, where they've been reduced to performing Scenes from Shakespeare at the local Moose Lodge.

But a lifeline presents itself in the guise of a wealthy old woman who has scant time to live. Leo and Jack learn that she plans to leave her estate to her two nephews, who she has never met. They hatch a plot to swindle her by impersonating the nephews. But playwright Ken Ludwig isn't going to let them off so easy. When the two turn up at the woman's mansion, they discover that the nephews are actually nieces. They're forced to improvise on the spot.

The cast of "Leading Ladies" includes Abigail Heimel, Rick Lamers, Michael Oslund, Lucas Reidenbach, Drew Smith, Michael Dufault, Jamilla Joiner and Lela Olson.

Lenore Weir directs.

"I am delighted to do this," she said. "I'm delighted to have the cast I have. I am so blessed for the people that I work with. I don't do this by myself."

If you go:

Performances of "Leading Ladies" are 7 p.m. Feb. 10-11, Feb. 16-18 and Feb. 23-25 and 3 p.m. Feb. 12, Feb. 19 and Feb. 26. All shows are at the Loft Stage at the Merrill Community Arts Center at East Ridge High School in Woodbury. Admission is $20. For tickets or more information, call 612-399-6568 or visit merrillartscenter.org.

William Loeffler

William Loeffler is a playwright and journalist from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He worked 15 years writing features for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. He has also written travel stories based on his trips to all seven continents. He and his wife, Michelle, ran the Boston Marathon in 2009. 

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