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posted: 5/10/2012 8:09 AM

'Leading Ladies' brings slapstick comedy to Steel Beam

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  • Plamen Pencheff, left, and Tony Lage rehearse their roles as Leo and Jack in Steel Beam Theatre's production of "Leading Ladies," which opens Friday, May 11, and runs through June 3 in St. Charles.

      Plamen Pencheff, left, and Tony Lage rehearse their roles as Leo and Jack in Steel Beam Theatre's production of "Leading Ladies," which opens Friday, May 11, and runs through June 3 in St. Charles.
    Courtesy of Steel Beam Theatre

 
By Diane K. Handler
Steel Beam Theatre submission

What better way to bring the curtain down than with laughter?

Steel Beam Theatre closes its 2011-12 season with the raucous, slapstick comedy "Leading Ladies" by Ken Ludwig, author of "Lend Me A Tenor" and "Moon Over Buffalo."

"Leading Ladies" is the story of two down-on-their-luck actors, Jack and Leo, who hear that a chronically ill dowager is trying to find two lost relatives next in line to receive the family fortune. The desperate actors devise a plan to pose as her nephews, only to find that the heirs are nieces. Jack and Leo become "Maxine and Stephanie," who then proceed to turn the entire household upside down, and forever change the life of naive Meg, the old lady's real niece.

"Leading Ladies" opens Friday, May 11, and runs through Sunday, June 3. Show times are 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 3 p.m. Sundays. There is free parking next to the handicapped-accessible theater at 111 W. Main St., St. Charles.

Single tickets are $25, $23 for students and seniors and $22 for groups of 10 or more. For tickets, visit SteelBeamTheatre.com or call (630) 587-8521.

The Leading Ladies cast includes Matthias Austin of Wheaton as Duncan; Leo Kalisz of Antioch as Doc; Tony Lage of West Chicago as Jack; Grant Legan of Geneva as Butch; Plamen Pencheff of Lindenhurst as Leo; Cynthia Fortune Gruel as Meg; Lori Holm as Florence and Jennifer Reeves-Wilson as Audrey, all of Batavia.

"Leading Ladies" director Bernie K. Weiler is an Aurora attorney who holds degrees in theater and law from Loyola University Chicago. Weiler most recently directed SBT's "The Au Pair Man" and "It Could Be Any One of Us," and SBT Children's Theatre 10th anniversary season opener "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland."

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