SALEM—Leading Ladies, a rollicking cross-dressing farce by Ken Ludwig, opens May 26 at the Pentacle Theatre.

In this hilarious comedy by the author of Lend Me A Tenor and Moon Over Buffalo, two English Shakespearean actors, Jack and Leo, find themselves so down on their luck that they are performing “Scenes from Shakespeare” on the Moose Lodge circuit in Pennsylvania’s Amish country. When they hear that an old lady in nearby York is about to die and leave a fortune to her two long-lost English nephews, they plot to pass themselves off as her beloved relatives and claim the cash. The trouble starts when they discover that the sweet little old lady’s relatives aren’t nephews, but nieces. No problem: Jack and Leo are actors.  Romantic entanglements abound when Leo falls head-over-petticoat in love with the old lady’s vivacious niece, Meg, who’s engaged to the local minister. Meg knows there’s a wide world out there, but it’s not until she meets “Maxine and Stephanie” that she finally gets a taste of it.

 Source: Samuel French, Inc. (adapted).

What: Leading Ladies, by Ken Ludwig. Directed by Jennifer Gimzewski.

When and where: Leading Ladies runs from Friday, May 26, through Saturday, June 17, at The Pentacle Theatre, 324 52nd Ave. NW, about 6 miles west of downtown Salem.

Cast: Well-known Salem entertainment personality and emcee Tom Hewitt plays Jack and Lucas Hill plays Leo. The cast also includes Jade Halpern, Isabella Steele, Walter Haight, Joyce Kemp, Ed Kramer and BrAd Steiner.

Sponsored by: Leading Ladies is made possible in part by the generous sponsorship of OregonWest Excursions.

Tickets: Tickets cost $23 for weekday performances and $24 for weekend shows. Seniors, students, active military and Pentacle Theatre members receive a $1.50 discount. There is an additional $1 fee on opening night for the catered post-show party.

  • Advance tickets are available at Pentacle’s downtown Salem ticket office at 145 Liberty St. NE or by calling 503-485-4300 from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on weekdays, or anytime online at
  • Tickets for low-income persons: In partnership with Salem for All, Pentacle Theatre offers half-price tickets to Oregon Trail Card holders. For information, go to

CONTENT ADVISORY: Pentacle Theatre seeks to inform our patrons about content that may be objectionable. Because tastes vary — and what is offensive can be subjective — we encourage you to read the script before purchasing a ticket if you’re concerned. Leading Ladies is appropriate for ages 11 and older. It contains the following elements:

  • Sex: Two men disguise themselves as women. Sexual innuendo and double-entendres.
  • Violence: Slapstick comedy.
  • Tobacco, alcohol, drug use. Cocktails are imbibed at a party.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Contact director Jennifer Gimzewski at, or call the Pentacle Theater office at 503-485-4300.

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