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'Leading Ladies' take the stage at Sandy Actors Theatre

When two male Shakespearean actors find themselves down on their luck, they cast aside their Hollywood dreams and decide to impersonate the long-lost heirs of a dying woman in hopes of sharing a $3 million inheritance. by: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO - Brian Burger and Tom Witherspoon star as Jack and Leo, Shakespearean actors who cross-dress in an effort to share a dying woman€sˇÃ„ôs inheritance. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

There’s one problem, however. The heirs turn out to be Maxine and Stephanie, not Max and Steve.

Sandy Actors Theatre continues its 2012-13 season of “Mayhem, Mystery and Music “ with “Leading Ladies,” a light-hearted farce by Ken Ludwig.

“It beckons to the heart, with a lot of laughter and one-liners,” Kathy Strickland, producer, says.

Directed by Tim Park, an SAT veteran, the play stars Brian Burger and Tom Witherspoon as Jack and Leo, the actors who will eventually have to explain their dresses to their new loves.

A hilarious plot ensues, as other con artists threaten the scheme, a local minister tries to expose them and love throws a curveball.

“There’s lots of physical comedy,” Cheryl Rudarmel-Beam, assistant director and stage manager, says. “There’s not time to think about the joke because the next one is right on its heels.”

Part of the hilarity, Strickland says, is watching the lead actors change from late 1950s street dress, to Shakespearean costumes to plus-size dresses and high heels.

The “Leading Ladies” cast features several fresh faces to the Sandy Actors’ stage, including Teagan Wilson as Meg, Andrea Hurley as Audrey, Levi Ruiz as Duncan, and Joni Tabler as Florence the dowager.

Rounding out the cast are Jim Lamproe as Doc and Ira Kamerman as Butch.

“Everything is exaggerated and intellectually pushing the limits,” Rudarmel-Beam says. “I still giggle and I’ve heard the lines so many times.”

Originally produced by The Cleveland Play House and Alley Theatre, the play is produced at Sandy Actors by special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc.

Sandy Actors rate the play “PG-13” for language and sexual references. Reservations are recommended and wheelchair accommodations and hearing assistance devices are available.

For more information, visit sandyactorstheatre.org or call 503-668-6834.

If you go

What: Sandy Actors Theatre presents “Leading Ladies,” a light-hearted farce.

When: 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 3 p.m. Sundays, Nov. 9-Dec. 2, with doors opening 45 minutes before showtime.

Where: Sandy Actors Theatre at 17433 Meinig Ave. behind ACE Hardware.

Tickets: $15 general admission, $12 for seniors and students and $10 for children 12 and under.

Reservations: 503-668-6834.