BWW Review: DIRTY ROTTEN SCOUNDRELS at Haddonfield Plays & Players is a Rotten Good Time

BWW Review: DIRTY ROTTEN SCOUNDRELS at Haddonfield Plays & Players is a Rotten Good Time

Haddonfield Plays & Players' production of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is a rotten good time!

Based on the 1988 film of the same name, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is a musical comedy with music and lyrics by David Yazbek and book by Jeffrey Lane that centers around two competing con-men, living on the French Riviera. At first, the suave and experienced Lawrence Jameson (played by Chris Fitting) takes the rookie con-man, Freddy (played by Sidney Manfred Maycock III), under his wing. But soon Freddy is successful enough that he tries to compete directly with Lawrence. The competition comes to a peak when they agree that the first con man to extract $50,000 from the female heiress, Christine Colgate (played by Kristina Coia), wins and the other must leave town forever.

South Jersey theatrical jack-of-all-trades and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels' director Ryk Lewis definitely picked an all-star cast to feature in this production. The three leads are anything but rotten! Fitting, Maycock and Coia (as Lawrence, Freddy and Christine respectively) carry the show with strong voices, exciting acting and humorous portrayals of this classic comedic trio.

Sidney Manfred Maycock III as Freddy shows off his great big voice in the maniacal mantra "Great Big Stuff", professing his excitement over the riches he's going to make working with seasoned con-artist Lawrence Jameson. Kristina Coia as "The American Soap Queen" Christine Colgate is expressive, endearing and convincing, lighting up the stage with her first step into the spotlight during her first number "Here I Am". And Fitting as Jameson left me in stitches after the number "Ruffhousin' Mit Shuffhausen" where con-man Lawrence Jameson pretends to be a German doctor who attends to Freddy, outsmarting him after Freddy has told Christine Colgate that his lower body is paralyzed in a scheme to take her for $50,000. Fitting slaps Maycock's legs with a cane and the whole number is a classic bout of physical comedy.

One of the most ridiculous yet enjoyable musical numbers in the production is Maycock and Fitting's performances in the song "All About Ruprecht". Maycock as Freddy pretends to be Fitting's (Lawrence Jameson's) deranged, primal brother to help Jameson out of a jam where a woman he scams (played hilariously by Lauren Elizabeth) wants to take him back to Oklahoma to get married. Jameson plans to scare the woman away by showing her his abhorrent "brother" Ruprecht who would be an undesirable in-law to say the least.

Lewis' supporting cast is also very strong. I love Kacper Miklus as Lawrence's French henchman Andre. Fresh out of high school, Miklus, making his HP&P mainstage debut, blew me away with his voice, especially in Andre's sarcastic song "Chimp in a Suit" about Lawrence giving Freddy a makeover. And Gina Petti pairs well with Miklus in her portrayal of Muriel Eubanks, a woman that was a victim of Jameson and later becomes Andre's love interest. The two make a cute comedic couple.

Rounding out Dirty Rotten Scoundrels' cast is an ensemble of South Jersey's finest actors including Mary Simrin, Julieann Calabrese, Tony Yates, Sarah Blake, Jen Stefan, Rebecca Dilks, Sheila M Haswell, Andrea Veneziano, Briant Lopez, Ryan Fanelli, and Robert Hagerty.

BWW Review: DIRTY ROTTEN SCOUNDRELS at Haddonfield Plays & Players is a Rotten Good Time

HP&P's production of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is energetic, clever and action-packed. This show will definitely have you laughing out loud and leaving in stitches. Lane's story is exciting and unexpected. If you haven't seen the movie, you will definitely be surprised by the ending! Yazbek's tunes are contagious and the lyrics are witty, albeit slightly raunchy at times (but, what else do you expect from a show called Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.) Lewis' directing is smooth and the show features great choreography by Jennifer Gordon.

HP&P's production of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is simple. The set has a platform upstage with arches and a trundle bed that tucks into the platform. There is not much razzle-dazzle in the costumes, lighting, props or any production elements of the play. But, this production really focuses on the actors, character relationship & development, and the overall story. Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is a musical that doesn't need a flashy production, however it does need chemistry in the cast and that is exactly what Lewis has fostered in this show.

You will not be ROBBED of a good time if you come out to see this production. You can BET that this show will leave you laughing. And HP&P's mid-week specials and mark-down matinees are a STEAL!

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is being presented as a part of HP&P's 85th season and plays through August 3rd at Haddonfield Plays & Players in Haddonfield, NJ. For more information about the show and to purchase tickets, please visit www.haddonfieldplayers.com

Up next on the HP&P mainstage is High Fidelity playing Oct. 4th-20th.

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From This Author Amber Kusching

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