Fun, Fun, Fun! Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, presented by the Big Noise Theatre Company, is an enjoyable and entertaining show, filled with clever songs and some very funny moments. Originally produced on Broadway in 2005 (Tony nominated) and based on the 1988 movie starring Michael Caine and Steve Martin, “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” is the story of two con men, the cultivated and suave Lawrence Jameson, and the small time American thief Freddy Benson, who are both working the French Rivera looking to swindle rich ladies out of their money. They soon discover that there isn’t enough room for the two of them and they agree to a wager to solve the problem. They target a mark, Christine Colgate, “the soap queen”, and decide that the first of them that can shake $50,000 from her wins and the other will leave. This sets the stage for some hilarious scenes and a few unforeseen twists!
The Big Noise production is well directed and choreographed by Zachary L. Gray who puts energy into the production. The musical numbers are charming and well executed under the direction of Robert Deason. The sets are simple but effective and the cast works hard to smoothly transition scenes. Lawrence is portrayed by David Whitlock, who deftly plays the suave, debonair gentlemen hustler. Freddy Benson is played by David Geinosky, who shows great depth in his physical comedy. Kristine Burdi plays Christine Colgate and she makes you believe that she really is the sweet and innocent “soap queen” from Cincinnati. The chemistry onstage among these three is apparent and they give the audience plenty of reason to laugh as they play out their swindles, double crosses, and tricks. Supporting the lead characters are the funny Patrick Stengle as Andre Thibault, Lawrence’s right hand man, who finds romance with Muriel, the swindled widow from Omaha, played by the capable Kathleen Gibson. Carrie Weiss is memorable as Jolene, the rich lady from Oklahoma who almost corners Lawrence into an unwanted marriage. The ensemble, Emilia Benassi, Isaac Loomer, Garrett Lutz, Kelly Maryanski, Amanda Nianick, Taylor Okey, Rebecca Parvin, Peter Rasey, and Brent Walker play a variety of roles, quickly changing costumes, and adding strong support to a very nice production.
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is the last show for the 2012-2013 Season and worth seeing. It continues through May 12, 2013 at the Prairie Lakes Theatre, 515 E. Thacker, Des Plaines. Tickets are $25 for adults, $23 for seniors/students and can be ordered by calling 847-604-0275 or online at www.bignoise.org. There is plenty of free parking.
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