Damascus Theatre Company Dirty Rotten ScoundrelsBy Laura & Mike Clark • Feb 13th, 2012 • Category: Reviews
Damascus Theatre Company
Gaithersburg Arts Barn, Gaithersburg, MD
Through February 26th
2:35 with one intermission
$18/$16 Gaithersburg Residents
Reviewed February 11th, 2012
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is a musical with book by Jeffrey Lane, music and lyrics by David Yazbek. It is based on the 1988 film starring Steve Martin and Michael Caine. Two wayward hucksters attempt to outdo each other try to best each other in a game of wits as they wine, dine, and embezzle unsuspecting women. When the “Soap Queen” enters the picture, Lawrence and Freddy put everything on the table to win the $50,000 prize. But when Lawrence develops real feelings for Christine the game is no longer as interesting.
The DC area community theater première of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels was an unexpectedly funny show. The cast did not take themselves seriously, but enjoyed the moment and each other. The show itself didn’t take itself seriously, breaking the fourth wall in unexpected ways a few times.
Lawrence Jameson, played by Bill Brown, is the stereotypical ladies man, able to wine and dine, sweet talk, steal and then take off and leave heartbreak in his wake. Brown kept his character focused, striving to be rather like a James Bond character. Freddy, the other con man, was equally funny as played by Gabriel T. Potter. Potter was quite expressive and wore his emotions on his sleeve (not to mention his coat pockets, pants, and boxers). He was somewhat more crass than Lawrence, but the two made a great pairing.
Enter Christine Colgate, the sweet innocent woman whose heart was bigger than her wallet. Stephanie Miller had a wonderful singing voice, full of emotion. Both Lawrence and Freddy fell for her hard. All three were comfortable acting, singing, and dancing on stage.
The final couple was Muriel Eubanks (Mary McConnell) and Andre Thibault (Micky Goldstein). Muriel was a more serious role of a woman scorned once too often to contrast with the cynicism of Andre. The couple had many brief, funny scenes together, and had voices to match the depth of their feelings towards each other. Their song “Like Zis, Like Zat” was very well received. Chrissy Barnett Miller as the cowgirl Jolene was also very funny, with great reactions to the efforts that Lawrence and Freddy were making towards her after her misunderstanding.
The ensemble was a solid team of performers, playing many roles as well as serving as the stage crew. The many scene changes happened quickly and quietly, a solid accomplishment on the tiny playing space of the Arts Barn. The flexibility of Set Designer Bill Brown’s set made up of different sized blocks were a significant contribution to the effective scene changes.
The live orchestra under the direction of Keith Tittermary was useful in making the show flow smoothly. There were only a few instances when the orchestra’s volume overpowered the cast’s singing. Costumer Flo Arnold made good use of colors to set the tone of the show. Bright reds and blues created a lively air for the performance. And while Lawrence’s white tuxedo looked great, its sleeves were a bit short.
Due to the adult language and situations this show may not be suitable for younger audiences. Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is a fun show that doesn’t take itself seriously and therefore allows the audience to absolutely have a blast!
Photos by Elli Swink
- Andre Thibault: Micky Goldstein
- Lawrence Jameson: Bill Brown
- Muriel Eubanks: Mary McConnell
- Freddy Benson: Gabriel T. Potter
- Jolene Oakes: Chrissy Barnett Miller
- Christine Colgate: Stephanie Miller
- The Ensemble: Jason Damaso, Dru Harwood, William C. Lippincott, Megan May, Bryndon McNellage, Cara Marie Pellegrino
Artistic & Production Team
- Director: D. Scott Richards
- Co-Producers: Elli Swink & Carol Boyle
- Music Director: Keith Tittermary
- Choreographer: Laurie Newton
- Technical Director/Lighting Design: Rick Swink
- Stage Manager: Cathy Clark
- Sound Design: Vitol Wiacek
- Properties: Maria Littlefield
- Set Dressing: Maria Littlefield
- Set Design: Bill Brown
- Technical Crew: Alex Richmond, Rachel Styles
- Set Building/Master Carpenters: Barry Bratburb, Jim Korte
- Set Painting: Maria Littlefield
- Painting/Construction Crew: Carol Boyle, J.P. Boyle, Bruce Clark, Kathy Clark, Elli Swink, Rachel Styles, Paul Tilton
- Costumes: Flo Arnold, Cast
- House Manager: Celia Blitzer
- Photography: Elli Swink
Dirty Rotten Band
- Piano/Conductor: Keith Tittermary
- Drums: Ricky Wise
- Guitar: Belvedere Morton
- Keyboard: Arielle Bayer
- Trombone: Ryan Shofnos
- Reeds: Charlie Condon, Chris Condon, Katrina Ambrose, Bob Greene, Gwyn Jones, Jackie Miller
Disclaimer: Damascus Theatre Company provided two complimentary media tickets to ShowBizRadio for this review. DTC also purchased advertising on the ShowBizRadio.net web site, which did not influence this review.
This article can be linked to as: http://washingtondc.showbizradio.com/goto/7648.
Laura & Mike Clark started ShowBizRadio in August 2005 because they love live theater. They each have both performed in and worked behind the scenes in DC area productions, as well as earned a Career Studies Certificate in Theater from Northern Virginia Community College. Mike & Laura are each members of the American Theatre Critics Association, and Mike is a member of the Online News Association.