Leading Ladies – South Elgin High School Arts

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Thursday, November 9, 2017 to Saturday, November 11, 2017

South Elgin High School, 760 E. Main Street, South Elgin, Il, 60118

Set in York, Pennsylvania in 1958, this farce centers on two down-on-their-luck Shakespearean actors, Leo Clark and Jack Gable. The pair discover through a newspaper that Florence, an older ailing woman, has been unable to find Max and Steve, her sister’s children who moved away to England as children in order to include them in her multi-million dollar inheritance. They decide to pose as Max and Steve to claim portions of it. When they discover that “Max” and “Steve” are actually “Maxine” and “Stephanie,” they continue on, undaunted, in drag. Leo falls for Florence’s actual niece Meg, while Jack swoons over Florence’s part-time aide Audrey. Florence recovers just as the pair arrives, but they decide to keep on, both to try to outlast her health and to stay close to the objects of their interest. Leo convinces Meg, who is enamored of Shakespeare and a fan of Jack and Leo, to put on a production at Florence’s estate, to give himself more of an opportunity to be with her, both as Leo and Maxine. Meanwhile, Meg’s fiance Duncan grows increasingly suspicious of the “Leading Ladies.”

On the night of the production, a telegram arrives at the house stating that the real Maxine and Stephanie will arrive that night. Leo’s plan to use Jack-as-Stephanie to seduce Duncan in front of Meg and stop their marriage fails when Audrey accidentally gives the family doctor a “love note” meant for Duncan. The telegram ends up in the hands of Duncan, who gloats at the opportunity to get rid of the two impostors. Meg confesses to “Maxine” that she loves her, prompting he and Jack to consult each other while in costume as women, which Meg and Audrey accidentally eavesdrop on and discover the true identities of their “cousins”. An angry Audrey confronts Jack, but when he breaks down and apologizes, she accepts his marriage proposal. The same occurs with Meg and Leo, but Meg tells Leo he needs to run, as the real cousins are due to arrive. However, the police arrest the “real cousins”, identifying them as two notorious con artists. To Duncan’s horror, Leo (still in character as Maxine) and Meg announce that they’re getting married. After Florence scares everyone by seeming to have died for a minute, everyone suddenly remembers that they’re supposed to be putting on a play and prepare to begin the show. (Some productions include a final scene in which a frantic and short version of Twelfth Night is performed by the cast.) — via Wikipedia

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