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Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

a Musical Comedy
by Jeffrey Lane (book) and David Yazbek (songs)

COMPANY : Atlanta Lyric Theatre
VENUE : Jennie T. Anderson Theatre-Cobb Civic Center [WEBSITE]
ID# 5237

SHOWING : February 09, 2018 - February 25, 2018



"Dirty Rot­ten Scoundrels," based on the pop­u­lar 1988 MGM film, takes us to the French Riv­iera for high jinks and hilar­i­ty. Sophis­ti­cat­ed, suave with a good dash of mis­chief, this hys­ter­i­cal com­e­dy fea­tures a delight­ful­ly jazzy score by David Yazbek ("The Full Mon­ty") and was nom­i­nat­ed for a stag­ger­ing eleven Tony Awards. Lawrence Jame­son makes his lav­ish liv­ing by talk­ing rich ladies out of their mon­ey. Fred­dy Ben­son more humbly swin­dles women by wak­ing their com­pas­sion with fab­ri­cat­ed sto­ries about his grandmother’s fail­ing health. After meet­ing on a train, they 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, wins, and the oth­er must leave town. A hilar­i­ous bat­tle of cons ensues that will keep audi­ences laugh­ing, hum­ming and guess­ing to the end!

Ensemble Quentin Avery Brown
Christine Colgate Rebecca Galen Crawley
Muriel Eubanks Jessica De Maria
Ensemble Fenner Eaddy
Ensemble Arielle Geller
Ensemble Bonnie Harris
Andre Thibault Steven L. Hudson
Ensemble J. Koby Parker
Freddy Benson Chase Peacock
Lawrence Jameson Bryant Smith
Ensemble Lauren Tatum
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A Clean Sweep
by playgoer
Sunday, March 11, 2018
"Dirty Rotten Scoundrels" the movie was successfully transformed into a Broadway musical a few years back. Atlanta Lyric Theatre’s production of the musical continues that streak of success. Tremendous vocals, fluid choreography, atmospheric lighting, and clever staging all contribute to the success.

Christopher Dills’ scenic design makes use of a unit set consisting of a backdrop frequently featuring palm silhouettes, a stepped platform across the entire upstage, and two-story units on either side of the stage, with various set pieces moved on for individual scenes. It all works very fluidly. Ben Rawson’s lighting design enhances the mood of the scenes delightfully. Amanda Edgerton West’s costumes and George Deavours’ wigs make the cast look colorful and stylish on the generally monochromatic stage. John McKenzie’s sound design keeps vocals and backing tracks in perfect balance, and Lauren Brooke Tatum’s choreography adds movement throughout. The technical elements all aid the overall show without attempting to draw individual attention to themselves.

The actors, on the other hand, almost fall over one another in attempting to draw attention to themselves, just as the script demands that they do. Bryant Davis makes for a commanding Lawrence Jameson, even if his pseudo-British accent is far more pseudo than British. Chase Peacock enlivens every moment in the onstage life of his less cultured character, Freddy Benson. Galen Crawley comes across as a spitfire firecracker as Christine Colgate, and Allison McDowell goes over-the-top Okie as Jolene Oakes. Jessica DeMaria invests Muriel Eubanks with sass and sweetness in equal measure, and Steve Hudson lands every blessed moment in his scene-stealing turn as impeccably comic-French-accented Andre Thibault. Every single one of these principals has a voice that, with a single exception, surpasses the demands of their role. (Ms. Crawley’s opening number isn’t a great match for her vocal range or style, but she acquits herself well in performing it and impresses mightily in her more soaring numbers.)

Director Rick Lombardo has invested the show with energy from start to finish, making good use of the ensemble in small roles and encouraging his leads to give standout performances. Fun is the overriding aim of the production, and in that it succeeds admirably. A light, tuneful comedy, the show ratchets up the pleasure quotient with each new number and leaves smiles plastered on the faces of audience members leaving the theatre in high spirits after glorying in the shenanigans of a glorious band of dirty rotten scoundrels. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]


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