'Dirty Rotten Scoundrels' cast anticipates laughter during Aiken Community Playhouse show

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John Lewis didn’t decide to direct the Aiken Community Playhouse’s Dirty Rotten Scoundrels because he was a fan of the 1998 movie, although he did enjoy it. He wanted to direct the play because he fell in love with the music.


Lisa Kaylor
Staff Writer
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“It’s upbeat. It’s funny. It’s campy at times. It’s kind of a bunch of different styles. It’s got a couple of very sweet songs in it, and songs that are a little raunchy, too,” he said.

The play is about two con men on the French Riviera – suave, experienced Lawrence Jameson (played by Pat Williams) and rising young con man Freddie Benson (played by Brad King) – who quickly realize the town isn’t big enough for both of them. So they make a bet. Whoever can con Christine Colgate gets to stay.

Though the cast has been rehearsing for nearly 10 weeks, they still laugh at it.

“As funny as the movie was, I think the play is even funnier because I think the songs in the play are hilarious,” Lewis said.

In real life, Williams is a former New York state trooper. Lewis said he has done an outstanding job as Lawrence and pulls off suave and sophisticated really well.

“It’s just kind of a funny thing that we’ve got a cop playing the suave con man,” he said.

The director’s biggest challenge was the loss of his choreographer about three weeks ago to a job with Disney. The choreographer was supposed to come in midway through to begin working on the dance numbers, Lewis said. He scrambled to find a replacement and brought in Morgan Barton from Dream Dance Academy, who pulled together the choreography in a very short time.

“She comes in and listens to a song and it’s just like she’s seeing everything in her head,” he said.

Lewis said the entire cast has worked really hard, rehearsing five to six nights a week, to get ready for opening night, which is Sept. 7. He hopes the audience will have as much fun watching it as the cast has had making it.

“It is a show that is just going to be extremely entertaining. Don’t expect any high-brow, hidden meaning. There isn’t any,” he said.

ONSTAGE

WHAT: Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

WHEN: 8 p.m. Sept. 7-8, 14-15, 21-22, 3 p.m. Sept. 15-16

WHERE: Aiken Community Playhouse, 126 Newberry St. SW

DETAILS: $25; (803) 648-1438, aikencommunityplayhouse.com

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