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Theatre Season Ends with a ‘Dirty’ Bang

San Jose’s The Stage ends its season almost the way it started: a fun evening at the theatre full of a lot of physical humor.

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, the Tony Award winning musical based upon the 1980s Steve Martin/Michael Caine movie which is based a 1960s Marlon Brando, is as lively of show as the Stage’s season opener The Play That Goes Wrong.

The show is as a perfect a production as you can find with a a funny script, inventive songs, brilliant direction and acting, all mixed in with beautiful costumes and flawless sets.

San Jose Stage Company’s DIRTY ROTTEN SCOUNDRELS. Featuring LAWRENCE-MICHAEL C.
ARIAS* (Andre), ADRIENNE HERRO (Muriel), and JONATHAN RHYS WILLLIAMS* (Lawrence).
Photo by DAVE LEPORI. *Actors’ Equity Association.

Dirty is the story of two con men (Jonathan Rhys Williams and Keith Pinto) who make a bet about who will capture the interest and money of a young visiting woman (Ashley Garlick).

The three main actors have a field day in their roles, always with a wink to the audience.  There couldn’t be a better trio to work off of each other, which shows a lot of trust as some of their comedic antics can go awry in the wrong hands. 

Pinto, who always offers a winning performance, is responsible for the most physical humor, and mostly in the second act. His scenes of being tied up and being whipped by Williams are priceless.

The three leads are supported by a magnificent supporting cast, in particular Lawrence-Michael C. Arias and Hayley Lovgren, who have their own fun subplot/relationship. (Bear-wise, Arias is perhaps the one actor that might be most embraced by our community.)

David Yazbek’s songs are inventive, fun and memorable. It’s great to see how aspects of the movie script found a home within his songs.

When you look at the work behind the curtain, you might be surprised to see some of the actors on the stage are also part of the creative team behind the production.

San Jose Stage Company’s DIRTY ROTTEN SCOUNDRELS. Featuring JONATHAN RHYS
WILLIAMS* (Lawrence), HALEY LOVGREN, (Ensemble left to right) RENEE DEWEESE MORAN,
MICHAEL KENNEDY, KENNEDY JOHNSON, ARTURO MONTES, NICHOLAS CAMPOS HINTZMAN and
KATHERINE STEIN*.Photo by DAVE LEPORI. *Actors’ Equity Association

Two of our leads Williams and Garlick are the scenic designer and costume designer, respectively. Is it fair that they are brilliant at both jobs?

While not on the stage this time, director Johnny Moreno is one of my favorite Bay Area actors (especially with My Fair Lady) and he too shows his diverse talents with his work here.

Everyone associated with this show elevates it to a grandiose, splashy production, raising this little Stage theatre into a big Broadway-style production.

Get tickets and information at San Jose Stage.

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Kevin M. Thomas

Kevin M. Thomas, or @ReelKev, is an arts blogger and entertainment reporter. In addition to his own website, www.reelkev.com and ReelKev YouTube channel, Kevin used to be the LGBT arts writer for Examiner.com and contributes to progressivepulse.com as well as a semi-regular on San Francisco's cable TV show, "10 Percent."

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