REVIEWSTheatre ReviewsTom Williams

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

Book by Jeffrey Lanedirty rotten scoundrels at the theatre at the center

Music and Lyrics by David Yazbek

Directed  by William Pullinsi

Musical Direction by William A.Underwood

Choreographed by Stacey Flaster

At the Theatre at the Center, Munster, IN

Super-smart lyrics and zinging dialogue propel funny Broadway musical

Director William Pullinsi has scoped another Regional premiere by acquiring the rights to Dirty Rotten Scoundrels by composer and lyricist David Yazbek and librettist Jeffrey Lane.  This is one funny show! The zany lyrics and the goofy, yet super-smart dialogue mask a cleverly plotted con men story set in the French Rivera.

dirty rotten scoundrels at the theatre at the center

“Based on the popular 1988 film, Tony Award winning DIRTY ROTTEN SCOUNDRELS centers on two con men living on the French Riviera. The first is the suave and sophisticated Lawrence Jameson (Larry Wyatt) who makes his lavish living by talking rich ladies out of their money. The other, a small-time crook named Freddy Benson (Michael Mahler), more humbly swindles women by waking their compassion with fabricated stories about his grandmother’s failing health.

dirty rotten scoundrels at the theatre at the center

After meeting on a train, they unsuccessfully attempt to work together only to find that this small French town isn’t big enough for the two of them. They agree on a settlement: the first one to extract $50,000 from a young female target, heiress Christine Colgate (Dara Cameron), wins and the other must leave town. A hilarious battle of cons ensues, that will keep audiences laughing, humming and guessing to the end!”

dirty rotten scoundrels at the theatre at the center

Besides the  swank sophisticated Latin-rhythmic dances, marvelously choreographed by Stacey Flaster, Scoundrels features exquisitely timed comic turns form Larry Wyatt, Michael Mahler, Larry Adams and especially Paula Scrofano, as the wacky and lonely American millionaire Muriel. Dara Cameron beautifully plays Christine Colgate who isn’t who she appears to be.

Musically, Scoundrels has a pastiches of Broadway and pop music styles including light weight melodies and cute ditties to enhance  the lyrics. David Yazbek score is totally entrenched with the story, mood and atmosphere of the  story. The tunes themselves garner many laughs, which is rare.

dirty rotten scoundrels at the theatre at the center

We learn to quickly love Lawrence and Freddy and we empathize with Muriel and Christine. The action and plot twists exude much hilarity in this urbane comedy of manners.  The show features  strong ballads and cute character-driven songs. This show is a well produced crafty piece of musical comedy with loads of laughter and flamboyant characters.  Larry Wyatt, Michael Mahler and Paula Scrofano anchor this slick show. If you’ve never Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, take the short ride to the Theatre at the Center to witness this funny show.

Highly Recommended

Tom Williams

At the Theatre at the Center, 1040 Ridge Road, Munster, IN, tickets $36 – $40,, Wednesdays and Thursdays at 2 pm, Fridays at 8 pm, Saturdays at 2:30 and 8 pm, Sundays at 2:30 pm, running time is 2 hours, 20 minutes with intermission.

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