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Leading Ladies (Ludwig) - Full Length Play, Comedy

Leading Ladies (Ludwig)

Ken Ludwig

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Full Length Play, Comedy

5m, 3f

ISBN: 9780573632884

"Ludwig's newest farce is so funny, it will make sophisticated and reasonable men and women of the 21st century cackle till their faces hurt." - Houston Press

More Information Below:

Description | Characters | Rental Materials | Media | Author | Now Playing | Reviews
: Acting Edition
: Large Print
: Stage Manager

Minimum Fee: $100 per performance


Full Length Play


Farce, Period

120 minutes (2 hours)

Time Period - 1950s

Settings Of Play - 1950s York, PA. Various locations.


Physical Comedy

UIL Approved, Competition or audition material

Interior Set, Unit Set/Multiple Settings

Period Costumes


No Special Cautions


Appropriate for all audiences, Adult, Senior, Pre-Teen (Age 11 - 13), Teen (Age 14 - 18)


High School/Secondary, College Theatre / Student, Community Theatre, Dinner Theatre, Professional Theatre, Reader's Theatre, Large Stage, Blackbox / Second Stage /Fringe Groups

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 the Amish country of Pennsylvania. When they hear that an old lady in York, PA is about to die and leave her fortune to her two long lost English nephews, they resolve to pass themselves off as her beloved relatives and get the cash. The trouble is, when they get to York, they find out that the relatives aren't nephews, but nieces! Romantic entanglements abound, especially 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 that 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.

"Ken Ludwig is a national treasure. He has almost single-handedly kept alive the sense of humor of Philip Barry, Billy Wilder, Preston Sturgis, George S. Kaufman, and the Marx Brothers. With Lend Me a Tenor and Moon Over Buffalo, Ludwig established himself as the American playwright to look to for the fast and furious comedic stylings of those masters... Slapstick goofiness, scrambled Shakespeare, and good-natured laughs make Leading Ladies an irresistible treat." - Montana Reperatory Theatre

"Ludwig's newest farce is so funny, it will make sophisticated and reasonable men and women of the 21st century cackle till their faces hurt." - Houston Press

"Leading Ladies is consistently funny-indeed, increasingly hilarious as it progresses." - Houston Chronicle

"Look for Leading Ladies to become a staple of summer stock and community theatres. And, mind you, I mean that as a compliment." - Variety

"Ken Ludwig gives the audience something powerful and potent: laughter and a guiltless evening of Theatre-going." - Village News

"Leading Ladies is a highly combustible and continuously hilarious new comedy by Ken Ludwig, Broadway's reigning gagmeister." - Cleveland Plain Dealer

Leading Ladies had its world premiere at the Alley Theatre, Gregory Boyd Artistic Director, in association with the Cleveland Playhouse, Michael Bloom, Artistic Director, Dean R. Gladden, Managing Director, on October 15, 2004. It was directed by Ken Ludwig.



5m, 3f


Ensemble cast, Non-Traditional casting, Cross gender casting, Multicultural casting, Strong Role for Leading Man (Star Vehicle), Strong Role for Leading Woman (Star Vehicle), Parts for Senior Actors


No Chorus

Rental Materials


N/A (Not a musical)


N/A (Not a musical)

  • Meet The Playwright: Ken Ludwig

Ken Ludwig

Ken Ludwig

KEN LUDWIG has had 6 shows on Broadway and 7 in London’s West End, and his plays and musicals have been performed in more than 30 countries in over 20 languages. His first play on Broadway, Lend Me A Tenor, which the Washington Post called "one of the classic comedies of the 20th century,” won two Tony Awards and was nominated for seven. He has also won two Laurence Olivier Awards (England’s ... view full profile

Now Playing
Carl Back 10/14/2015 9:06 AM
I love Lend ME A Tenor. Ludwig's other plays have a hard time matching the slapstick hilarity and use of conventions of his first play. The addition of men in drag and Englisg accents....does NOT add to the comedy....it's more of a frenetic blur.
Cassie Severn 4/7/2015 11:30 AM
I have seen this performed as a UIL One Act Play.  It is tremendously funny and I bought the script to read to see if I can do this, too.  I don't know that my students would be able to perform this as would be required.  Super funny, lots of innuendos, and situational comedic moments.  My main concern would be "toning it down"  for our super-conservative school administration to approve of it.
Sharon Burum 11/12/2014 2:24 PM
What a great show to do for some talented actors - especially men who like to dress up as women. Audiences would love it! A farcical romantic comedy, it has it all.

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