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Theater Notes: Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is ‘smash hit’

By Staff | Jan 26, 2012

If theater is your cup of tea, get yourself out to DIRTY ROTTEN SCOUNDRELS.

It is a total smash hit. It’s hard to think of a better way to spend an evening here on our Island than at this production at the Big Arts Herb Strauss Theater.

The delights of this show are boundless. The songs and the dancing, the acting, the marvelous set, the colorful costumes, the pacing and the sheer energy the cast expends, everything is contagious. The plot isn’t Ibsen, and the characters aren’t Arthur Miller’s. But the performances are Tony Award level and I mean that.

My first kudos goes to Jason Loete, the head scoundrel. He sings, he dances, he dialects and he charms. I say, eat your heart out, Michael Caine, who played the part in the hit movie. Mostly, Loete holds everything together, and he needs to, because surprises after surprises keep popping up. Nobody is bored at DIRTY ROTTEN SCOUNDRELS.

One of the most surprising elements is how the choreographer, that genius in tights, Amy Marie McCleary, can give us so much exciting and brilliant chorus dancing on that small stage that’s not too much bigger than some of the dining room tables out in Captiva.

Loete, last season, directed the smash hit THE SPELLING BEE. And if you were on the Island and wise enough to catch that marvelous show, Loete’s gifts won’t come as a surprise you. (Incidentally, he is Head of the Theater Department at the Cypress Lakes High School of Performing Arts.)

An added treat in DIRTY ROTTEN SCOUNDRELS is that two of the stars from SPELLING BEE knock our socks off in this one, too. Anne Chamberlain who played Olive and also starred, pregnant, in WINTER WONDERETTES, is back, dancing her darling head off, and then the gifted Cassandra Nuss returns as a sprited dancer in the chorus, and then steps out to a starring role where she does a couple of numbers that bring the house down. I wish I had more space to tell about some other stars, but there’s not a bad performance in the entire show. Come see for yourself.

I hope you catch my enthusiasm. Well, don’t miss out. Get your tickets as fast as possible. Word of mouth is spreading. It will be a sell out. Call the box office at the Big Arts Strauss Theater today. 472-6862.

One other item for THEATER NOTES: On Sunday, Jan. 22, auditions were held for a series of Play Readings that will be starting on stage at the Big Arts Herb Strauss Theater in February. The plays are from local playwrights, Marcia Rudin, Wally Kain and Claudia Burns.Community Theater is alive on the Islands. Keep an out for the schedule.

Community Theater is newly alive on the Islands. The first event is on Sunday, Jan. 29. SHAKESPEARE: SCENES AND MONOLOGUES. Play Reading, 7:30 p.m. Herb Strauss Theater.