Kasey Bishoff (Stage Manager) has been a singer/actor for over 25 years. She is thrilled to be stage managing for NRP with such an incredible cast. Recently, Kasey has been seen in The Christmas House with Plymouth Community Theatre, Why do fools fall in love and You’re a good Man Charlie Brown with Priscilla Beach Theatre. When not doing theatre Kasey is running her Bakery in Carver and moonlighting with her band, Whiskey Princess, on the weekends. She would like to thank her husband Eric for working 6 days a week so that she can have the opportunity to be involved in so many wonderful productions. You & I, always and forever.
Victoria Kirichok (Audrey) Victoria is a director, actor, and writer from Brockton. Leading Ladies is Victoria’s debut with NRP, as well as her first appearance in a full-length production since appearing as Cecily Pigeon in Milton Player’s production of The Odd Couple in 2012. Her other favorite roles include Mary in Run for Your Wife, The Mistress in Evita, Pamela in Whose Wife is it Anyway. Directing credits include: Inherit the Wind, Moon Over Buffalo, Damn Yankees, and The Secret Garden. She is deeply grateful for the loving and supportive men in her life–many thanks to Dan, Owen and James.
Stephen Doherty (Rev. Duncan) is returning to NRP after making his debut as Ben Hecht in Moonlight & Magnolias last year. He has also performed with the Bay Players (most recently in Laughter on the 23rd Floor), North River Theater in Norwell (most recently in Don’t Dress for Dinner), Plymouth Community Theater (in Wait Until Dark), and many shows with Hollywood & Vine at the New World Tavern in Plymouth. He is happy to only have one real costume in this show.
Sheila McCormick (Florence) started doing theater in high school. Previously, she worked with the Cranberry Players and the Craft Experimental Theater. A graduate of Mass College of Art, she’s also done freelance journalism for New England Horse Talk. Highlights include interviewing Hillary Dobbs, daughter of Lou Dobbs, prior to the start of her Grand Prix career; Francesca Kelly at her Chappaquiddick home where she kept rare Marwari horses; and photographer Tim Flach on his 2008 photo essay on the horse, Equus. Sheila’s other published works include a contemporary romantic suspense novel, Cousin Andrew, and poetry in Cambridge-based literary magazine Ploughshares.
Review: NRP’s Leading Ladies now at The Alley Theatre by Ray ZuWallach
It would be easy to think that “Leading Ladies,” billed as a cross between “Some Like It Hot” and Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night,” is just another men-in-drag farce. However, Ken Ludwig’s clever handling of his story and characters allows the play to rise above the cliché of guys dressing up as women. We also get a generous helping of the playwright’s pet theme of depicting show-biz folks as vain, erratic, and fallible; theme’s also in “Lend Me a Tenor” and “Moon Over Buffalo.”
Set in Pennsylvania in the early 1950s, the action starts with Leo Clark (Garrett Olson) and Jack Gable (Eric Henderson), a couple of down-at-heel Shakespearean actors, languishing on the Moose Lodge circuit, where their hammy overacting turns off an already hostile audience. When they learn that an elderly woman in the town of York has died, the perpetually broke duo decides to impersonate Max and Steve, the missing British nephews to whom she has bequeathed a fortune. Learning that the nephews are really nieces, Maxine and Stephanie, doesn’t deter them. They break out their finest female garb along with lipstick, rouge, and face powder.
Other surprises await the duo: The old lady, Florence (Sheila McCormick), is actually still alive. Her lively niece Meg (Lorna Norgueira) adores Shakespeare and pines for the life of an actor, causing Leo to fall for her. Jack likewise meets his dream girl, Meg’s best friend, Audrey (Victoria Kirichok). Meg is engaged, Audrey has a beau, and both think the two guys are women, adding to the plot’s complications.
Director Jess Wilson mounts a wholly engaging production that sparkles from first moment to last. Her high-octane octet of actors display great timing in both line delivery and in effecting the play’s physical aspects. Olson and Henderson are a study in contrasts. Olson’s Leo is a polished ladies man, all high-toned speech and mannerisms, while his Maxine is a flutey-voiced ,boisterous odd duck. Henderson’s Jack is a practical Brit who hates the idea of masquerading as a woman; his Stephanie is like a gentle breeze wafting about the stage.
The objects of their affections are likewise dissimilar. As Meg, Nogueira is bright and intelligent and engaging while Kirichok’s Audrey is endearingly ditsy. The remaining characters are essentially straight men for the starring quartet’s antics. Steve Doherty’s Duncan Wooley, the snippety, hidebound local minister engaged to Meg, who is immediately suspicious of Leo and Jack, is a classic foil. Alberto Rizzotti parlays the character of the blunt, lusty, inept Doc Myers into some fun wacky bits. As Doc’s son Butch, Jeffrey Ruel is funniest in depicting the young man’s abominably bad acting in the “Twelfth Night” performance (a play within a play.) McCormick’s Florence lends stability and imperiousness to the proceedings.
The visual elements—Max Verg’s set, Elena Murphy’s costumes, Bill Purcell’s hair and wig designs, the Watermans’ lighting—are all of a piece. The scene changes are cleverly accompanied by enjoyable American pop tunes of the early ’50s. This is first-rate staging that makes the most of Ludwig’s genius for farce.
Leading Ladies by Ken Ludwig continues at the Alley Theatre, 133 Centre Street, Middleboro April 21,22,28,29 at 8pm with a 2pm matinee on April 23rd . Tickets are $20 General Admission and $18 Seniors & Students, Matinee $15.
Performances can be combined with “Dinner and a Show,” a dinner theatre experience in collaboration with Lorenzo’s (Rt 28, Middleboro) 508-947-3000. Three course meal including glass of wine for $21.95 bring receipt to our box office before the show and tickets are only $15.00. For more info about NRP please visit us on our website: www.nemasketriverproductions.com or on our FB, Flicker, Twitter, Tumble or Instagram sites. You may also call our virtual box office 866 -244-0448 for reservations. Credit card purchases via EventBrite (through our website) and at the door.
“A HIT, A VERY PALPABLE HIT!” cries Leo during the Shrewsbury Moose Lodge sword fight of “Hamlet;” an early scene in the Nemasket River Production “Leading Ladies” now at The Alley Theatre, those hits are palpable indeed.
Productions of “Hamlet” are often distinguished by verse speaking or physical design. In this “abridged” version, a part of the current staging of “Leading Ladies,” (a play within a play) this celebrated scene is mixed in with a wide range of Shakespearean soliloquies, and it is the face-off between Hamlet (played by Garrett Olsen) and Lacerates (Eric Henderson) that the Shrewsbury Moose Lodge is watching (with mixed enthusiasm); an audience more interested in the food served AFTER the entertainment!
Lasting no more than four minutes, the duel leaves both the actors and the audience breathless; “A lot of it is about the skill of the swordplay,” said Henderson, who studied staged swordplay at Priscilla Beach Theatre 20 years ago with Geronimo Sands. The play within a play is a set up as a pre-dinner entertainment, an artificial game, which then goes mad.” Especially as the disinterested Moose Lodge members start leaving … much to the chagrin of it’s leading actor. “Don’t you people know what acting is?” Leo hollers to the diminishing audience.
This is just the early stages of this silly, outrageous, tender plot unfolding under the inspired direction of Jess Wilson and the professional staging of Nemasket River Productions.
Leading Ladies by Ken Ludwig continues at the Alley Theatre, 133 Centre Street, Middleboro
April 21,22,28,29 at 8pm with a 2pm matinee on April 23rd . Tickets are $20 General Admission and $18 Seniors & Students, Matinee $15.
All performances can be combined with our “Dinner and a Show” special, a dinner theatre experience in collaboration with Lorenzo’s (Rt 28, Middleboro) 508-947-3000. Three course meal including glass of wine for $21.95 bring receipt to our box office before the show and tickets are only $15.00. For more info about NRP please visit us on our website: www.nemasketriverproductions.com or on our FB, Flicker, Twitter, Tumble or Instagram sites. You may also call our virtual box office 866 -244-0448 for reservations. Credit card purchases via EventBrite (through our website) and at the door.
Lorna Nogueira (Meg) hails from Halifax and is very happy to be joining Nemasket River for the first time. Most recent credits include Miss Witherspoon with the Algonkuin Theatre Company, The Beauty Queen of Leenane with Pilgrim Soul, The Turn of the Screw with Go Go Theatre and The Unexpected Guest with Hat Trick. Lorna has worked with many theater companies including The Apollinaire, Whistler in the Dark, Boston Experimental Theatre and Imaginary Beasts. She co-hosts, with Michael Legge, the public access show The Dungeon of Dr. Dreck. She thanks her generous car-sharing crew Dorothy, Angela and Jillian.
Jess Wilson (Director) has over 25 years of professional and community theater experience as an actor, tech, designer, producer, playwright, and director. Most recently, she’s directed two tours of How To Survive A Zombie Apocalypse (WatermelonAlligator Theatre Company), Much Ado About Nothing (Midsummer Shakespeare), Twelve Angry Men (Plymouth Community Theatre), and Cabaret (Buzzards Play Productions). A familiar face to local audiences, Jess was in last season’s Lost in Yonkers here at NRP! Favorite roles include Titania (A Midsummer Night’s Dream; Midsummer Shakespeare), M’Lynn (Steel Magnolias; PCT), Lenny (Crimes of the Heart; Bay Players), Dogberry (Much Ado About Nothing; PCT), and Megan Singer (EA Kafkalas’ Lopsided; world premiere, CCTC, Pennsylvania). Jess is the Managing and Artistic Director for WatermelonAlligator Theatre Company and serves on the managing Board for Midsummer Shakespeare. In addition to her careers in healthcare and theater, Jess is also a musician, artist, and author. Jess gratefully acknowledges her friends and family – this production would not have been possible without you!
Jeffrey Ruel (Butch) is excited to be a part of his first show with Nemasket River Productions. He would to thank everyone involved for the great experience. Jeff would also like to thank his friends and family.
Garrett Olson (Leo Clark) is ecstatic to be returning to NRP! Past roles include Peter (PCT’s A Christmas House), Schroeder (You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown; PBT), Jesse (Plaza Suite; NRP), various independent films and music videos and he’s recently been “brains” deep in zombies with roles at Boston Zombie Apocalypse and WATC’s How to Survive the Zombie Apocalypse. Garret’s the Technical Director for WatermelonAlligator Theater Company. His favorite roles are dad to his two beautiful daughters and husband to his stunning, supportive wife! Thanks to Jess, Merrie and NRP for an incredible experience with a VERY talented cast! Love you angel!