December 13, 2007

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels


Broadway Across America's newest production "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels" is based on the 1988 film starring Steve Martin and Michael Caine. The show is onstage at Clowes Memorial Hall and unlike the film, it's a musical. The basic plot remains the same, but big Broadway numbers have been woven into each scene.
Two con men meet, one an elegant gentleman who woos women and eventually takes their money. The other is a crass, vulgar cretin with seemingly no morals or restraint.

Circumstances throw the two together they find they make the perfect team. With their very individual skill sets they can dupe wealthy women into forfeiting their riches.

At first the classy gent, Lawrence, tries to train the other, Freddy, to be at least presentable. It's like a topsy turvy, and much more depraved, version of "My Fair Lady."

Shortly after the partnership begins they fall out and turn against each other. They decide that instead of working together, they will make a bet and determine which one is the better deceiver. And as always, winner takes all, including the French Rivera territory where the show is set.

Jamie Jackson does a great job playing Lawrence Jameson. He is cocky, but eternally smooth as he swindles the female tourists. Jenny Gulley shines as Christine Colgate, an ernest and optimistic heiress.

One of the show's numbers, "Love is My Legs," has some of the worst and cheesiest lyrics in show business, but that's intentional. The song features eloquent phrases like, "faith are the toes attached to your feet." The words are atrocious and that's the point. The show is cheeky and not to be taken too seriously.

The three supporting characters, Muriel Eubanks, Andre Thibault and Jolene Oakes, are treats for the audience. Their parts add flavor and hilarity to the show. The over-the-top Frenchman, Andre, is played by Jeff Essex, with excellent snide pompousness.

The show is not appropriate for kids, but for those who enjoyed the movie or just want a good laugh, it's a good fit.

Performances: "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels" closed Dec. 16, 2007.

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