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|Dirty Rotten Scoundrels|
There's fun in fraud with Venice Theatre's Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
November 16, 2009
Unless you caught the touring production at Van Wezel a year or so ago, Venice Theatre’s current staging of the show Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is the first chance locals have had here to see this musical adaptation of two earlier comedy films. And it’s welcome fun.
As with the films, Bedtime Story and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, this production introduces us to a couple of con men, Lawrence Jameson (Chris Caswell) and Freddy Benson (Douglas Landin), who are both working a stretch of the French Riviera (it’s really more of a fantasy land), reeling in their all-too-willing female victims with one line or another.
Throw in a do-gooder American with money (Kim Kollar) who’s been one of
Under the direction and choreography of Brad Wages and the musical direction of Rick Bogner, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels has its occasional slower moments and some ragged dancing in ensemble numbers; but it also has some sharply timed humor and nicely executed performances from its leads. Caswell has demonstrated his talents on local theater stages for years, and he’s successful here again as a man with more than one side to him. Campo has the right wide-eyed exuberance as Christine, and Valentino scores big with her country-themed number,
But it’s Douglas Landin as Freddy who is the biggest surprise here. Landin has done shows at VT before, but after seeing him most recently in Stage II’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? as amoral climber Nick, who would have guessed he could be so broadly and vulgarly entertaining? His numbers alone are worth the price of admission.