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Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

Musical Theatre West always has terrific productions, so it wasn't surprising to find that its latest musical, "Dirty Rotten Scoundrals," was completely sold-out on opening night. The cast was top-notch across the board, and Billy Sprague Jr.'s direction (combined with his choreography) hit the bulls eye.

In addition, the orchestra, under the direction of John Glaudini, never sounded better. Put all of the above on Kevin Clowes' set, under Jean Yves Tessier's light design; then add the savvy of Associate Director/ Choreographer, Carol Bentley, and Voila!  MTW  has another hit on its hands.

Based on a 1960's movie comedy starring Michael Caine and Steve Martin, "Dirty Rotten Scoundrals" was turned into a multi-award-winning musical decades later by the talented David Yazbek, who wrote both the music and the clever, witty lyrics.

A guaranteed crowd-pleaser, the musical is on stage at the Carpenter Center in Long Beach on weekends through July 24. So take a hint: Call for tickets now: (562) 856-1994; or get them online at

The cast is an absolute "dream-team"! Playing the leads (two con-men who live on the French Riviera) are Davis Gaines and Benjamin Schrader. In supporting roles are Kyle Nudo (Gaines' side-kick; Andre); and their female victims (Rebecca Ann Johnson, Cynthia Ferrer, and Jennifer Kranz). 

When the characters played by Gaines and Schrader meet, one is a gentleman and the other is commoner; but they both get along by swindling gullible, wealthy women. Together they make a bet: "The first one to swindle $50,000 from a pretty woman wins; the otherone has to leave town!"

From there on, the work take off; and the audience is enthralled, also royally entertained. What will happen next? You can only know the answer by seeing "Dirty Rotten Soundrels" at the Carpenter Center, 6200 E. Atheron, in Long Beach on weekends though July 24. So make reservations now, or you'll be sorry. (The contact information is listed above.)