BWW Review: LEADING LADIES at Gulfshore Playhouse is Wonderfully Witty!
LEADING LADIES at Gulfshore Playhouse is truly one of the most hilarious, witty, and well-performed plays I have ever seen. It is Gulfshore Playhouse's first production post-Hurricane Irma, and I have to say, they are starting out incredibly strong, after what I am sure was a tough recovery.
Every single joke and punchline in the show was met with roaring laughter from the audience, which is a clear indicator of how perfectly they were delivered. I very much enjoyed and appreciated how clever the whole thing was. The story is about two struggling actors, Leo and Jack, who intend to imitate a dying woman's long lost nephews, Max and Steve, in order to claim the fortune left to her relations in her will. But then, they find out that Max and Steve are not the nephews they first thought, but rather, they are nieces: Maxine and Stephanie. Rather than forget about the fortune, Leo and Jack decide to do something a little wild: become Maxine and Stephanie.
William Connell and Zach Martens, who play Leo and Jack, who "play" Maxine and Stephanie, were fantastic. They were hilarious throughout the whole show, but especially when they were pretending to be Maxine and Stephanie. They both had excellent stage presence, and I was impressed with their ability to fully portray the emotions their characters were experiencing, often in a very humorous way. There were many moments when they were making faces, behind another character's back, at each other, and these were some of the funniest parts of the show. They were a wonderful duo.
I really loved Erin Davie's portrayal of Meg, the cousin of the real Maxine and Stephanie. Meg was so excited about acting and theatre, which is incredibly relatable for most, if not all, of the audience members who attend this production. Erin Davie gave Meg so much vibrancy and life, while still showcasing the struggles she goes through, and I appreciated that a lot.
The rest of the fantastic cast includes Mike Lawler as Doc, Hanley Smith as Audrey, Mary Stout as Florence, Phillip Taratula as Duncan, and Alex Michael Albrecht as Butch. They were all excellent in their roles, and I enjoyed the chemistry they all had as a cast. They were very strong, and each had at least one, if not more than one, standout moment in the production.
The costuming in this show was absolutely perfect, and I commend Lauren Gaston, the costume designer of the show, very much. The costumes really stood out to me in this show--especially the dresses worn by "Maxine" and "Stephanie." They were all very fitting for every single part of the show, and there were so many of them that I couldn't help but notice how pretty and well-made they were.
Two of the best segments of this show that I have to mention include one particular dancing scene near the middle of the show, which brought the audience comic relief amongst the drama of the story, and at the very end, when the cast essentially hit rewind and went backwards, through key moments of the story. I haven't ever seen something like that at the end of a play, and I thought it was a very nice touch.
Gulfshore Playhouse's LEADING LADIES is absolutely the show to see if you want a fun, entertaining, and unique night of theatre. The acting was fantastic, the jokes were precise and perfectly delivered, and the story, written by Ken Ludwig, has easily become one of my new favorites. I highly suggest seeing it if you get the chance; it is well worth it, and I promise you will have a time full of laughter and enjoyment in the two hours that LEADING LADIES plays out. You really don't want to miss this one. I also have to thank Gulfshore Playhouse for being so welcoming; it was my first time attending a production at their theater, and everyone was incredibly kind. I am already looking forward to attending their next production!
LEADING LADIES is playing at Gulfshore Playhouse now through December 10. Evening shows begin at 8 p.m.; matinees begin at 3 p.m. Show subscriptions are available and include priority seating, exclusive events and discounted pricing. For purchase information, visit www.GulfshorePlayhouse.org or contact 866-811-4111.