Publisher: Elizabeth Hurd / Editor: Jillian Ball

“Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” Great Effort; Great Cast

Elizabeth Hurd  Published: April 15th, 2011

The Pollard Theatre continues Seasons of Laughter with “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” a surprising musical. “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” is a musical based on a successful movie about two con artists creatively bilking unsuspecting wealthy women of their assets. The screenplay by Dale Laudner, Stanley Shapiro and Paul Henning is full of wit and twists. The book by Jeffrey Lane should be a good read. However, the musical does not translate fully. Music and Lyrics by David Yazbeck create an average musical for a great cast. Unfortunately, good directing and solid casting do not counter the fact that reducing witty repartee and complicated set ups to a series of song and dance numbers eliminates much of the nuance and challenge created in the original movie.

Nevertheless, under the expert guidance of W. Jerome Stevenson the cast of the Pollard production has put together a very solid show. Gregory Hopkins and Wil Rogers are exceedingly charming and creative performers with high professional standards. Their characters (with extremely low professional ethics) come across as the sort of connivers a woman simply can’t resist. Both actors are polished as well as dashing. Excellent performances are also turned in by Michael Edsel, Susan Riley and Beverly Caviness. While the lyrics are not memorable, the performances are superb. Although the songs do not carry the story line with as much wit as the story itself demands, these actors manage to insert as much as possible with expression and body language. Cory King, featured as the Oklahoma gal is delightful in her role.

Kacy Southerland, Jake DeTommaso and James Hughes also lend their considerable talents to the large cast. Trinity Goodwin, Timothy Stewart, Preston Isham, Megan Montgomery and Stephanie Neu provide additional quality to the overall production. Brandt Sterling, Tiffany Tuggle, John Richey, Clayton Blair and Arianna Taxman round out this exceptional cast with power and talent in their ensemble roles.

In addition to his position as Director, Stevenson collaborates with Todd Malicoate for Musical Direction quite well. Matt Kemp is Stevenson’s colleague with the Sound Design. Set and Light Design are by Don Childs. While there are a few relatively minor technical glitches in the production, the only jarring technicality comes in the costuming by Designer Michael James. Some of the costumes indicate a time line which does not appear to exist and some costumes do not. Some of the costumes seem unlikely and some unnecessarily unflattering.

“Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” can be seen through May 8, 2011 at The Pollard Theatre in downtown Guthrie, Oklahoma. Curtain goes up at 8pm Thursday, Friday and Saturday’s with Sunday matinees. For more detailed information or tickets contact the Box Office at 405.282.2800. The Box Office is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10am to 5pm. Or anytime online at //thepollard.org.

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