GREENFIELD — Wearing a flowery dress and an old wig, Corey Yeaman pranced across the stage, chatting with his fellow castmates in the highest-pitched voice he could muster.

Yeaman — dressed as a woman — rattled off his lines, talking with the others in this cast of crazy characters about recent shopping trips and plans for parties, about the plots of plays and an ongoing scheme.

Some call Yeaman’s character Stephanie; others know he’s truly named Jack — one of two-man con team out to swindle millions from an unsuspecting family in the wild ride that is the CrazyLake Acting Co.’s latest production.

Story continues below gallery

Click here to purchase photos from this gallery

Yeaman and his co-star, Trever Brown, play a pair of cross-dressing crooks in “Leading Ladies,” a play by Ken Ludwig.

Yeaman and Brown say the farce — full of door-slamming, disguises, misunderstandings and mistaken identities — has given them a chance to flex their comedic muscles.

The plot follows two unlucky British actors, Jack and Leo (Yeaman and Brown’s characters, respectively), who find themselves performing “Scenes from Shakespeare” in the Pennsylvanian Amish country, according to Ludwig’s website.

One night, they hear a dying old woman nearby is planning to leave her fortune to two long-lost family members, so they decide to pass themselves off as her relatives in hopes of scoring the cash.

But the relatives aren’t the old woman’s nephews, as Jack and Leo were originally told.

They are her nieces — hence the dresses and wigs Yeaman and Brown don for much of the show.

Yeaman said he’d seen “Leading Ladies” years before auditioning for the show locally. Knowing the hilarity that ensues as the Jack and Leo try to pull off the ploy made him eager to take on the interesting new role, he said.

Brown agreed, saying the complexities of the part intrigued him. Leo is bossy man who then has to pretend to be a woman; along the way, he falls in love and nearly ruins everything, he said.

“There are many different challenges,” he said.

CrazyLake’s has a history of taking on comedies locally, with “Inspecting Carol,” “Run for Your Wife” and “Rumors” to its credits. In 2015, the company presented another of Ludwig’s plays, “Moon Over Buffalo.”

CrazyLake’s shows are always fun, said Erin Jeffries, who serves as stage manager for the production. But the mayhem that plays out on stage in each show is successful only with a lot of organization and planning backstage, she said.

“In between acts, I’m moving sets and zipping dresses,” she joked.

Yeaman and Brown take on many costume changes throughout the course of the show that require careful and quick timing — and as much practice as learning lines, Jeffries said.

If you go

Tickets for “Leading Ladies” are on sale now. Advance tickets are $10 and can be purchased at Hometown Comics, 1506 N. State St., or online at crazylake.com.

Showtimes April 14, 15, 21, 22 and 23 at the H.J. Ricks Centre for the Arts, 122 W. Main Street. Friday and Saturday performances begin at 7:30 p.m.; the Sunday matinee is at 2:30 p.m.

Tickets will also be on sale for $12 at the door an hour before show time. For more information, call 317-477-2787.

Author photo
Caitlin VanOverberghe is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. She can be reached at 317-477-3237 or cvanoverberghe@greenfieldreporter.com.