Costumes make the man in “Leading Ladies”

GREENFIELD —  In the grand tradition of Dustin Hoffman’s Tootsie, Robin Williams’ Mrs. Doubtfire and John Travolta’s Edna Turnblad, come actors Trever Brown and Corey Yeaman as Leo Clark and Jack Gable — also known as Maxine and Stephanie — in CrazyLake Acting Company’s production of “Leading Ladies.”

Costumes make the man in “Leading Ladies”

The show begins innocently enough with Brown and Yeaman — who portray two struggling actors in the raucous comedy — re-enacting scenes from Shakespeare at the local Moose Lodge. Later, in slacks and jackets, they complain bitterly about their lot in life. And then inspiration strikes:  Leo reads an article in the newspaper about a dying woman’s efforts to find her two nephews so she can leave them an inheritance.

Leo hatches a plan for the two of them to impersonate the missing nephews, but things go horribly wrong when the nephews turn out to be nieces.

Thus, for Brown and Yeaman, begins a theatrical odyssey of wigs, brassieres and pantyhose. The co-stars swap dresses for pants and back again for as many as seven costumes changes during the 90-minute production.

Yeaman’s wig of auburn ringlets is reminiscent of Little Bo Peep, but finding a wig for the stockier Brown was more challenging.

“It was hard to find something that didn’t make me look like Joe Dirt or the drummer from Guns and Roses,” Brown said.

Both actors have resigned themselves to wearing pantyhose under their costumes throughout the performance.

“It was easier to just keep them on then to take them off for every costume change,” Yeaman said.

As challenging as the costuming is the falsetto voices that both actors adopt in their roles as Maxine and Stephanie. Throughout the show, the actors come on stage as Jack and Leo, and in the next scene, they appear as women again.

“We figure if we forget and use the wrong voice, it will just come off as a funny bit,” Brown said.

Brown and Yeaman, along with Luke Agee, Sam Brown, Ali Kern, Lee McCarty, Brent Oliver, Amy Studabaker and Chris VeHorn round out the cast of “Leading Ladies,” on stage April 14, 15, 21, 22 and 23 at the H.J. Ricks Centre for the Arts, 122 W. Main St. in Greenfield. Friday and Saturday shows are at 7:30 p.m.; the Sunday matinee is at 2:30 p.m. Tickets can be purchased in advance online at crazylake.com for $10 or at Hometown Comics, 1506 N. State St. or at the box office before the show for $12. For more information, follow the CrazyLake Acting Company on Facebook or call 317-477-2787.

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