By Kristi Kates
When asked what the most appealing element of Interlochens up-coming
production of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels: The Musical will be,
Interlochen Director of Theater David Montees answer is as speedy as
the con-artist characters in the play itself.
Its flat-out hilarious.
Based on the 1988 movie starring Steve Martin and Michael Caine
which, incidentally, ranks 85th on Bravos list of the 100 Funniest
Movies Interlochens spin on the tale adds in the musical element.
Also of note is a storyline that would be equally at home in the 50s
as it is today: two con men, Freddy and Lawrence, make their living
talking rich ladies out of their money. When the two aim to snag
$50,000 from an heiress on the French Riviera, the competition begins,
as does the hilarity.
The film was wonderfully funny, and the play retains all of that,
plus some great music, as well, Montee says, it won the Tony Award
for Best Broadway Musical a few years back. I think audiences will
have a great time with it, but they should also know that it contains
some adult material and language - its definitely a PG-13.
Starring in the production are a trio of Interlochens brightest
talents, a couple of which Montee says he worked with last year in the
schools production of Shakespeares Loves Labours Lost.
Michael Liebhauser (Lawrence) is from Rhode Island - a third-year
junior here in the theater department - and Evan Adams (Freddy) is a
post-graduate, who was here as a senior last year, and decided to stay
on another year - we were thrilled to have him back. Montee explains.
Rachel Eskanazi-Gold, our female lead, is from Los Angeles. Both
Rachel and Michael are former participants in our camp program in the
summers, and Ive had the fun of working with Evan and Michael
Interlochen, well-known for placing art on an equal level with smarts,
is also known for exceptional production values in their plays and
concerts, and are often helped along by assistance from other
Melinda Rohn, our music director, and Kristina Nichols, our
choreographer, are well known for their work in the Grand Traverse
community, both with Old Town Playhouse and Swing Shifts Dancing with
the Stars, Montee says, theyre both doing a fabulous job.
And who knows where this production might lead for Liebhauser, Adams,
and Eskanazi-Gold; according to Montee, Interlochens theater program
has helped craft plenty of well-known performers whove seen great
success in the entertainment industry, well beyond Michigan.
The Interlochen Arts Academy Theatre program is dedicated to
providing the best pre-professional training for talented young actors
and actresses in the country, Montee explains. Our theatre alumni
have won Academy Awards, Tony Awards, Golden Globes, Obies, and every
other major recognition that the industry bestows on its performers.
The students that our audiences have watched in our shows over the
past two decades, they now have a chance to see in films, on Broadway,
and on television almost every night.
Set to be staged in the Harvey Theater, one of the smaller of
Interlochens venues, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is sure to be a fun
evening, and one that Montee is already quite proud of.
It will be a more intimate production, which actually helps us to be
a bit more subtle, less broad in the humor, Montee explains, which,
for me, makes it even funnier than it would be on a big stage.Costumes
and scenery, however, will be up to level of our usual quality at
Interlochen - which is to say, very impressive, he smiles, just on a
smaller stage, so you can appreciate the detail more.
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels will run November 19 & 20 and December 3-5 at
Interlochens Harvey Theater. All times are 7:30 p.m. with the
exception of Sunday, December 5 which is a matinee performance at 2:00
p.m. Tickets $22 adult/$18 senior/$9 student, available via