Tag Archives: Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

FEATURE: A month in the life of Glasgow Theatre Blog

I’ve recently had a few conversations both in person and with fellow theatre bloggers asking what a typical month is in the life of the blog. So with that in mind here is a typical month – this month in fact, a chronological record of the who, what, where and how of June 2015.

Monday 1st June

Theatre Royal, Glasgow

Launch of Ambassadors Theatre Group autumn season for their Glasgow Theatres.

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Glasgow’s Theatre Royal

As always from ATG Glasgow, a well thought out overview of the season to come. Compered by Glasgow favourite Des Clarke with guest appearances/performances from among others: Nigel Havers and Christine Kavanagh enacting a scene from The Importance of Being Earnest, the cast of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (silver fox Michael Praed getting the ladies of a certain age swooning with his crooning), some music and dance from Britain’s Got Bhangra, live interviews with Matthew Bourne on the return of Sleeping Beauty and Sally Bankes on East is East, touring fresh from its run in the Trafalgar Transformed season as well as video features from shows such as Love Me Tender and the first live glimpse of this year’s King’s panto cast.

Tuesday 2nd June 

Theatre Royal, Glasgow

Judy – The Songbook of Judy Garland

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Ray Quinn and Louise Dearman in Judy – The Songbook of Judy Garland

A surprising turn from Ray Quinn fleet-footed and crooning his way through the songs of Judy Garland – ably helped along by ever-reliable West End leading lady Louise Dearman. Unfortunately the same couldn’t be said for Garland’s daughter Lorna Luft who would have been better served telling anecdotes about her superstar mother rather than strangling her greatest hits.

Review: https://glasgowtheatreblog.com/2015/06/04/review-judy-the-songbook-of-judy-garland-theatre-royal-glasgow/

Wednesday 3rd June

King’s Theatre, Glasgow

Spamalot

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Joe Pasquale as King Arthur in Spamalot

It was Joe Pasquale’s son Joe Tracini who was the star of the show – fantastic comic timing and some seriously groovy moves showed that there’s life and laughs in this old dog yet.

Review: https://glasgowtheatreblog.com/2015/06/06/review-spamalot-kings-theatre-glasgow/

Friday 5th June

City Halls, Glasgow

Friday Night is Music Night

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A truly stellar cast lined up to mark the finale of the BBC’s first ever music day,representing the spectrum of music on offer from our national broadcaster: Jamie Cullum, Lulu, Deacon Blue, Noah Stewart, Jack Liebeck, Catrin Finch, Jaz Dhami and Claire Hastings presented a world class evening of entertainment.

Review: https://glasgowtheatreblog.com/2015/06/08/review-friday-night-is-music-night-bbc-music-day-concert-city-halls-glasgow/

Saturday 6th June

Oran Mor, Glasgow

Sunset Boulevard

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John Kielty and Juliet Cadzow in Sunset Boulevard

Billy Wilder’s classic movie condensed into a perfect one hour gem. All that and a pie and a pint thrown into the ticket price – what mor could you want?

Review: https://glasgowtheatreblog.com/2015/06/07/review-sunset-boulevard-oran-mor-glasgow/

Tuesday 9th June

King’s Theatre, Glasgow

Puttin’ on the Ritz

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Kristina Rihanoff and Robin Windsor – Puttin’ on the Ritz

More a cruise ship review than full-blown theatre show but entertaining none the less.

Review: https://glasgowtheatreblog.com/2015/06/12/review-puttin-on-the-ritz-kings-theatre-glasgow/

Thursday 11th June

Citizens Theatre, Glasgow

Godspell

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The best of the best of musical theatre students from the Dance School of Scotland give a glimpse at the future stars of Scottish theatre in their flawless production of Stephen Schwartz and John-Michael Tebelak’s hippy classic Godspell.

Review: https://glasgowtheatreblog.com/2015/06/14/review-godspell-citizens-theatre-glasgow/

Friday 12th June

Adelaide’s Glasgow

The Mad Props Big Fat Musical Theatre Quiz and Concert of the Year

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Saturday 13th June

Festival Theatre, Edinburgh

Matthew Bourne’s The Car Man

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The master of British dance Matthew Bourne brought his revived classic The Car Man to Edinburgh for one week – and boy what a show – perfect was the only word for it.

Review: https://glasgowtheatreblog.com/2015/06/14/review-matthew-bournes-the-car-man-festival-theatre-edinburgh/

Sunday 14th June

Tron Theatre, Glasgow

The Critics Awards for Theatre in Scotland

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The critics decide on the best home-grown theatre talent of the year, also a chance for the critics to get their moment in the spotlight which they grabbed with both hands. This year’s big winner was the Royal Lyceum in Edinburgh.

Full list of winners: https://glasgowtheatreblog.com/2015/06/14/news-2015-cats-awards-winners-a-triumphant-year-for-lyceumtheatre/

Monday 15th June

Theatre Royal, Glasgow

The Producers

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It was the comics who took centre stage in Mel Brooks’ madcap musical The Producers. Ross Noble a demonic Franz Liebkind and Jason Manford got to showcase his under used singing skills.

Review: https://glasgowtheatreblog.com/2015/06/18/review-the-producers-theatre-royal-glasgow/

Tuesday 16th June

King’s Theatre, Glasgow

Calamity Jane

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A stand-out performance from Tom Lister as Wild Bill Hickcok saved this overly-long show.The Glasgow audience loved it from the first notes though.

Review: https://glasgowtheatreblog.com/2015/06/19/review-calamity-jane-kings-theatre-glasgow/

Thursday 18th June

Glasgow Royal Concert Hall,

The Overtones

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An unexpected treat – sharp harmonies and even sharper moves, they worked their socks off delivering hit after hit after hit. Also their fans must rank among the most vocal I’ve ever encountered.

Monday 22nd June

Theatre Royal, Glasgow

Twelve Angry Men

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A tremendous play and the perfect ensemble piece. A slew of powerhouse performances which had the audience in the palm of its hand from curtain rise to fall.

Tuesday 23rd June

King’s Theatre, Glasgow

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

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No better on second viewing – a hugely talented cast who performed their socks off but their talent was wasted in this lacklustre excuse for a musical.

Wednesday 24th June

Glasgow Royal Concert Hall

Idina Menzel

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Queen Idina came to Glasgow and wowed the crowd – “I’m loopy”, she cried, and you couldn’t deny it as she rolled on the floor covered in gold tattoos during a rendition of Radiohead’s “Creep”. Crazy as a box of frogs but bloody brilliant none the less.

This is just some of the stuff I’ve seen – there were a few shows that I saw and didn’t review too, some CD/DVD reviews as well, there were also listings and news entries and other bits of weekly blog admin too – I couldn’t begin to guess the actual hours in between spent actually writing the reviews. Anyway here’s to the next one…

REVIEW: Dirty Rotten Scoundrels – King’s Theatre, Glasgow

Another production fresh from a run in the West End and now hoofing it up and down the UK is David Yazbek and Jeffrey Lane’s Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, bringing the sunny south of France to a chilly Glasgow this week.

Based on the 1988 Steve Martin/Michael Caine movie where two rival con men vie for the attention and the bank balances of rich ladies, old and young, in beautiful Beaumont sur Mer.

Suave, sophisticated charmer Lawrence Jameson’s (Michael Praed) ruse is to pose as a prince to fleece his victims of their fortunes, whilst rival Freddy Benson (Noel Sullivan) is a masterclass in vulgarity, a fraudster who will do anything to pay for his next feed.

When the pair realise the town ain’t big enough for the both of them, a wager is laid down – the first to swindle €50000 from soap heiress Christine Colgate, gets to stay in town, the loser, packs his bags.

It may seem like an unlikely source of musical theatre material, it was always a lightweight story and writer Jeffrey Lane has done little to elevate the original movie script, leaving it languishing as a piece of fluff, albeit a very attractive looking piece of fluff.

David Yasbek’s songs are more set piece than plot-driver, but they are pleasant enough and feature just about ever style of song you can think of in the theatrical cannon: ‘Oklahoma’ (not that one) is a tongue in cheek country and western treat, Oompah number ‘Ruffhousin’ mit Shuffhuasen’ delivers the laughs, there’s tango and salsa too, and there’s even a great big power ballad (replete with X-Factor style backing choir) ‘Love is my Legs’. Worthy of note though is the exemplary band under the lively baton of Ben Van Tienen, who sound rich and musically on-point throughout.

The cast do their best with the material at hand, the fourth wall is broken throughout but this often misused device works well here. Michael Praed in a role he’s born for, is a smooth, suave, sophisticated charmer with a sonorous voice. Noel Sullivan actually brings a warmth and charm to the previously uncharming Freddy, Carley Stenson is a fine voiced Christine, and Phoebe Coupe wrings the most out of her hick-from-the- sticks character Jolene, but it’s the ever-popular Mark Benton as Lawrence’s right hand man and unlikely lothario, French police chief Andre, who garners the biggest laughs.

The comedy often feels like it’s from another era and considering the source material is almost 30 years old and the musical itself, though only appearing in the West End in 2014, has been doing the rounds in the US since 2004, it’s may be no surprise, but it really does need revision – is there really a need for saucy maids in suspenders and bottomless dresses in 2015 – c’mon.

There’s nothing new here, it’s not a groundbreaking work but it’s glitzy, glamorous, undemanding and undeniably entertaining and the cast and band are of the highest class.

Runs until Saturday 27th June 2015 then touring.

This article was originally written for and published for The Public Reviews at: http://www.thepublicreviews.com/dirty-rotten-scoundrels-kings-theatre-glasgow/

REVIEW: Dirty Rotten Scoundrels – Savoy Theatre, London

Having watched the publicity that surrounded the West End debut of musical Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (based of course on the 1988 movie of the same name), the big-name cast, the lavish sets, the TV spots, you would be forgiven for thinking that the show was fresh out of the box, but it’s actually been doing the rounds since 2004.

19260_fullIt is an unusual choice for adaptation, while the film is remembered reasonably affectionately it was never an out and out smash and has been reduced to a vague memory 26 years on.

In a nutshell it’s the tale of two seasoned con men and their attempt to hoodwink a millionaire heiress in the spectacular South of France.

19264_fullWhilst an amiable enough evening at the theatre it offers nothing new and manages to distinguish itself only by being one of the most old-fashioned (and not in a good way) and sexist pieces of theatre currently on stage. It’s like a bad 70’s sitcom but this time with expensive sets and a top-rate cast.

It’s greatest redeeming feature is Robert Lindsay in the central role. Despite the rumours of his difficulty to work with, he really does milk this for all its worth. Without him it would be unwatchable.

Pleasant to look at but not a lot more.