Association of Community Theatre
Show Reviews October 2017
DIRTY ROTTEN SCOUNDRELS
Dukinfield A.O. & D.S
Director: Rodney T. Cadd
Musical Director: Dave Chapman
Choreographer: Jean Johnson
A film first seen under the title “Bedtime Story” in 1964 was remade in 1988 with a new title “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels”. The musical appeared in 2004 with music and lyrics by David Yazbek.
This story of conmen being out-conned, and their exploits getting hoodwinked, it is a perfect story for a musical comedy, and a must for any show selection list.
The structure of the piece has direction, staging and choreography as equal partners. Every aspect of this production was interlinked, as the dancers exited the drama stepped in, scene changes took place, all choreographed seamlessly.
Set against a very workable set, the costumes added to the characterisations and the technical elements gave depth and clarity to this musical romp.
The director, choreographer and musical director created a most enjoyable production. The ensemble work was full of energy and enthusiasm built a solid base allowing the principals to bring the story to life. The dancers, especially the men, executed, every number with precision.
Casting has to be strong as there is nowhere to hide. Besides the three main characters, there are others who come in and out of the swindlers' story. André Thibault is aide to supremo confident trickster Lawrence Jameson. Andy Gibson made André very human and the romance with Muriel had its moments.
Having great fun as Muriel Eubanks the American socialite, Lisa Kay brought experience to the role. Another important character is the Southern firecracker, Jolene Oakes, the “Princess of Petroleum”. Paula-Jayne Power was very convincing as being from Oklahoma, and the scene where she met Laurence’s would-be brother was pure variety theatre. The Oklahoma hoedown was the highlight of the company’s set pieces.
Mature, well established con artist Lawrence was sophistically played by Paul Allison. Paul showed comic timing as both the British and the German doctor and had grace when he realised he had been duped. The working relationship with the young whippersnapper Freddy made for a true double act.
Breezing into the story was the “rough around the edges” Freddy Benson, played by Ben Mackenzie. The aspiring, young American, Freddy conned the ladies with contrived stories about his grandmother’s health. Comedy came easily to Ben: he made his character an excellent foil for Lawrence, not unlike the Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis partnership.
Lawrence and Freddy have a bet on the first to con 50,000 dollars from a young female target. This brings Christine Colgate into the picture. The naïve and clueless heiress soon becomes cunning and mischievous. and cons the two con artists to become the third member in a firm of professional tricksters.
Amy Turner carried off the role, not giving anything away, playing the two men off each other. All her scenes kept up the comedy elements, with numbers like “Love Is My Legs”. The three of them were , in fact, the “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels”.