Dirty Rotten Scoundrels Ends Its Broadway Streak Sept. 3; Tour Is Hot

By Kenneth Jones
September 3, 2006

It was a ball, it was a blast it was a shame it couldn't last. So sing the title characters at the end of the musical comedy, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.

The tune rings true with the Sept. 3 Broadway closing of the Tony Award-nominated show, after 36 previews and 666 regular performances at the Imperial Theatre.

The lead casting of Keith Carradine and Brian d'Arcy James, who took over the title roles this summer, apparently did not catch fire. Richard Kind recently joined the troupe as police inspector Andre.

Lucie Arnaz and Sherie Rene Scott play victims of cons in the musical comedy by librettist Jeffrey Lane ("Mad About You") and composer-lyricist David Yazbek (The Full Monty).

The producers recouped over 80 percent of their investment, Playbill.com learned. They also participate in the national tour, the cast album and future productions, so future recoupment is expected, a production source said.

There are upcoming productions in Japan (October), Mexico City and Spain. Germany and Scandinavia are being negotiated. A plan for London is being explored for 2007.

A North American national tour launched Aug. 4, with Tom Hewitt and Tony Award-winner Norbert Leo Butz playing refined Lawrence and sloppy Freddy, who compete to fleece women on the French Riviera. A new opening number was written for the tour, and the reviews for the production have been positive indeed, more glowing than the notices for the Broadway production.

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Dirty Rotten Scoundrels began previews on Jan. 31, 2005, and opened March 3 starring Butz, Scott and John Lithgow, Sara Gettelfinger, Joanna Gleason and Gregory Jbara.

Dirty Rotten based on the 1988 MGM film of the same name won the 2005 Drama League Award for Best Musical and was nominated for 11 Tony Awards including Best Musical. It's directed by two-time Tony Award winner Jack O'Brien and choreographed by Tony Award-winner Jerry Mitchell.

With its wildly comic situations and catchy Mancini-esque tunes, the show is expected to have a wide life in the stock, regional and amateur market following its yearlong Equity tour.

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is produced by Marty Bell, David Brown, Aldo Scrofani, Roy Furman, Dede Harris, Amanda Lipitz, Greg Smith, Ruth Hendel, Chase Mishkin, Barry Tatelman, Susan Tatelman, Debra Black, Sharon Karmazin, Joyce Schweickert, Bernie Abrams, Michael Speyer, Barbara Whitman, Weissberger Theater Group (Jay Harris, Producer), Cheryl Wiesenfeld, Jean Cheever, Live Nation and Harvey Weinstein; produced in association with MGM On Stage.

The original cast recording is available on Ghostlight Records.