Cameron Theatre’s ‘Leading Ladies’

Photo by Marie Bagwell

Photo by Marie Bagwell

Marie Bagwell
Staff Writer

Cameron University’s Theatre Department opened the 2014-2015 theatre season with Ken Ludwig’s “Leading Ladies” on Oct. 2-5, selected and directed by Deidra Onishi.

The set was minimal. A couch, two chairs, two phones, a set of stairs, and a wall with three different doors filled the stage.

The play opened with Meg, played by Corin Fixico, standing at the top of the stairs, ready for an evening at the theatre. She hollers for her fiance Duncan, played by Lee Bolongia II.

Meg was disappointed with Duncan when he informed her that he loaned their car to a member of the congregation and therefore cannot go to “Scenes from Shakespeare!” starring her favorite actors Leo Clark and Jack Gable.

Duncan is more relieved than upset.

The audience was then introduced to the stars of the show: Clark, played by Mark Branson, and Gable, played by Byron Phillips. Clark and Gable were down on their luck, British actors with familiar-sounding names.

Not the most honest of people, Clark and Gable decide to answer a call in the newspaper for long-lost relatives Max and Steve, who were due to receive a million dollars each upon the impending death of their elderly aunt, Aunt Florence, played by Diane Denham.

Excited and ready to embark on their fraudulent plan, Clark and Gable discovered that Max and Steve are nicknames for Maxine and Stephanie, sisters. Clark insisted they follow through with their plan.

They decided to utilize their acting skills and dress up as women and pretend to be the sisters. Phillips and Branson acted subsequent scenes wearing dresses, wigs and high heels.

Florence and Meg, their cousin, were elated to have Max and Steve back in their lives but were none the wiser to the scheme. Duncan, however, was skeptical.

One thing led to another and Leo, or Maxine, fell in love with Meg and decided that he must stop her from marrying Duncan. This storyline formed the plot of the show.

Leo, as Maxine, figured out a way to introduce Meg to Leo. Subsequent scenes featured Branson going back and forth between playing Maxine and playing Leo.

From that point, confusion over identity, love and sanity dominate the play until its final resolution.

After the conclusion of the play, Onishi felt the cast put on a great performance based on the audience’s reception.

“They laughed a lot,” Onishi said, “so that’s good.”

Phillips enjoyed taking part of the show, noting one particular experience.

“It was a lot of fun and a good challenge,” he said, “especially with the heels.”

Onishi encouraged students interested in the theatre to get involved, whether via auditioning for a show, being a part of the crew, or watching as an audience member.

The next production is “Dark River” on Nov. 20-25. The next opportunity to audition is for Onishi’s next play “The Heretic,” showing Feb. 19-22, 2015.

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