Sarasota welcomes 'Rotten Scoundrels'

The hit musical based on the Steve Martin film opens at Players Theatre

March 20, 2014 

From left, Tim Fitzgerald, Amanda Heisey and Scott Vitale star in the Players of Sarasota production of "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels." PUBLICITY PHOTO

PHOTOGRAPHER: GREGORY F. KASPAR

It began its life as a Marlon Brando-David Niven film, then became a Steve Martin-Michael Caine film. Then it was translated a Broadway musical that was nominated for 11 Tony Awards.

Now "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels" is coming to Sarasota. It opens today at the Players Theatre.

The musical, which hit Broadway in 2004, has a book by Jeffrey Lane and songs by David Yazbeck (who's best known for "The Full Monty"). They based their musical on the film of the same name, which came out in 1988. That film was based on "Bedtime Stories," the 1964 movie with Brando and Niven. Neither of the films were musicals, but they were both very funny.

The story is about two con men whose preferred prey is rich old ladies. They decide that the French town in which they ply their trade doesn't have enough business for both of them, so they make a bet: The first one to bilk $50,000 from a certain young starlet will stay in town, and the other will leave. They both try to charm the starlet while sabotaging each other.

The Players production is directed by Michael Newton-Brown, who also designed the set. Joyce Valentine is musical director and Players newcomer Kathryn Kulik is the choreographer.

Details: March 20-30, The Players Theatre, 838 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. Show times: 7:30 p.m. March 20, 22, 25-27, 29 at 2 p.m. March 23, 29-30. Tickets: $25-$30. Information: 941-365-2494, www.theplayers.org.

-- Marty Clear

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