"Leading Ladies" leads the way into laughs in Folsom

By: Don Chaddock, Telegraph Managing Editor
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When you team local thespians Michael Coleman and Ryan Adame on the stage, expect nothing short of excellence. Adame impressed me when he played El Gallo in ?The Fantasticks.? He doesn?t disappoint in his current role and it?s nice to see him get to do something so lighthearted. Coleman was superb in ?Tomfoolery? as well as ?Cabaret? (which also earned five out of five stars when I reviewed it in September 2011). The pair currently stars in ?Leading Ladies,? a show which had the audience rolling with laughter during a recent performance. Set in a classic time period, ?Leading Ladies? is a tale of two hard-luck actors trying to eke out a living by performing Shakespearean scenes at Moose Lodge meetings. That?s when the duo hit on a scheme to claim the inheritance of wealthy woman who is searching for her long-lost English nephews. The problem? They find out they aren?t nephews, but nieces. Reaching into the costume bag, they pull out a few dresses and attempt to pass themselves off as Max and Steve (Maxine and Stephanie). Hilarity ensues. The casting for this production is spot on. Under the helm of Warren Harrison (fresh off his role as Felix in ?The Odd Couple?), the play moves along at a nice pace, with comedic timing the key to its success. Standouts are difficult to choose from this cast, because they are all so great. As I?ve already stated, the two main stars are superb and make this show worth seeing, but the supporting cast deserves a lot of credit. Kayla Chalko, a senior at California State University, Sacramento, makes her Sutter Street Theatre debut and nails the part of ditzy Audrey. She?s funny, perky and a joy to watch on stage. Lindsay Jones is another actress making her debut on Sutter Street. As start-struck Meg, she shines. Theater regular Hazel Johnson is a hoot as cantankerous Florence and plays off Ken Watkins, as Doc, quite well. Johnson was my wife's pick as her favorite. The youngest of the cast, Chris Celestin, is great as shy Butch. One scene in which he tries to recite Shakespearean lines is hysterical. I couldn?t stop laughing. Don?t miss ?Leading Ladies.? * * * KNOW AND GO What: ?Leading Ladies? When: 8 p.m. Friday, Saturday; 4 p.m. Sunday, through July 8 Where: Sutter Street Theatre, 717 Sutter St., Folsom Cost: $23 general, $21 SARTA and seniors, $18 students, $15 children 12 and under Info: (916) 353-1001, Rating: 5 out of 5 stars