Review: 'Dirty Rotten Scoundrels' brings on the glitz, delivers the glamour

THE ISLAND PACKET
By Mindy Lucas
Online Article Here

Looking to get a little oomph back in your life?

Then look no further.

“Dirty Rotten Scoundrels,” now playing at the Arts Center of Coastal Carolina, may be just what the doctor ordered.

A fun, lighthearted musical comedy in the tradition of Broadway classics “La Cage aux Folles” or “The Producers,” “Scoundrels” certainly piles on the glitz and delivers the glamour and with exquisite set pieces, long-legged dancers and beautiful costuming.

And while “Scoundrels” won’t knock your socks off anytime soon with dramatic acting or sophisticated writing — nor is it meant to — it will keep you entertained with lots of goodhearted hijinks, high-kicking numbers and terrific singing.

In fact, the real magic is most evident in the casting of Broadway veteran Sean McDermott as Lawrence Jameson and Arts Center favorite Blake Spellacy as Freddy Benson — the show’s two con men.

Like two sides of a coin, the two are perfectly matched as a polished and refined teacher and a rough and raunchy student. And both played their parts expertly not only in terms of how they bounced off one another but in their own individual musicality as well.

In fact, it wasn’t until close to the end when the two paired up in “Dirty Rotten Number” when I realized more powerhouse duets like this one would have been nice.

And speaking of powerful pairings, the sexy, good fun between the indefatigable Muriel Eubanks, played by Gail Cook Howell, and the ever-loyal Andre Thibault, played by Stuart Marland, was quite delightful, and the audience responded in-kind to the subplot of this older couple’s “second-chance” romance.

Howell, in fact, almost stole the show early on with her tenderhearted rendition of “What Was a Woman to Do.”

I’d also be remiss if I didn’t mention the hilarious, gun-toting cowgirl heiress Jolene Oakes, played wonderfully by Jennifer Knox, who had audience members nearly line dancing in their seats, and the wide-eyed, naive Christine Colgate played so pitch-perfectly by Kristine Reese that she nearly caught everyone off guard at the end.

And while, at times, the humor was a little cornball and the musical acts a bit kitschy, as one woman sitting next to me observed, the production still had lots of nice touches, such as its use of audience spaces, local references, tongue-in-cheek jokes about the theater and much more.

If you’re looking for a fun, good-looking distraction with lots of glamour and glitz, “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” is your ticket.

Because let’s face it. Who doesn’t want to get conned by a handsome stranger now and then?

Mindy Lucas: 843-706-8152, mlucas@islandpacket.com, @MindyatIPBG

IF YOU GO
“Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” runs through May 29 at the Arts Center of Coastal Carolina, 14 Shelter Cove Lane, Hilton Head.

Show times are 8 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays and 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Sundays.

The show is suitable for youth and adults with parental discretion advised.

Tickets are $55.

For details, call 843-842-2787 or visit www.artshhi.com.