REVIEW: Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

Two men con their way into the heart of women to get money and jewelry and great big stuff. The French Riviera has been brought to Michigan with Ann Arbor Civic Theatre’s production of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.

A2CT’s production included impressive props, set designs, and scene changes, with the Lydia Mendelssohn Theater providing vibrant color backgrounds. The French accents were sometimes hard to understand, and it was difficult hearing the lines over the pit at times. For the most part, the choreography was rather simple, but the vocal performance made up for it. The orchestra rocked the French jazz musical score that David Yazbek, who just won the Tony Award for The Band’s Visit, wrote, which stylistically added to the comedic vibe of the entire musical.

Dominic Seipenko dominated the stage as Freddy/Ruprecht, embodying the crass character greatly in his grand numbers “Great Big Stuff” and “All About Ruprecht.” He owned the role of the sleazy pupil in every moment. “Oklahoma” was stereotypically Southern, but it fit the comedic edge of the musical. Christine, portrayed by Hannah Sparrow, brings a glimmer of hope into the world with her beautiful performance of “Nothing is Too Wonderful to be True.” Though a microphone difficulty interrupted the reveal of the biggest scam in the musical, it was easy to figure out what happened (if you hadn’t called it already), and the ever-changing chemistry between the con artists onstage was certainly appealing.

Overall, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels was a fun show, and it looked like the cast had a fun time performing. The highlight was definitely Seipenko’s performance, who brought life to the stage and delivered his role perfectly. The audience seemed to love it, particularly among the older crowd, even receiving a couple standing ovations at the end. Now, I have to watch the 1988 comedy film to see where it all originated from.

PREVIEW: Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

What happens when two lifelong French con men try to one-up the other in an attempt to prove who is the ultimate con artist by swindling $50,000 from an American heiress? Based on the 1988 comedy film featuring Steve Martin and Michael Caine, the Ann Arbor Civic Theatre is bringing the Broadway musical of the same name to the Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre. The jazz musical comedy Dirty Rotten Scoundrels will be sure to keep you tapping your toes and laughing the entire time. Performances are September 6-9, with a 7:30pm show on Thursday, 8pm show on Friday and Saturday, and a 2pm matinee on Sunday. Tickets are $15 for students or FREE with a Passport to the Arts.