Dirty Rotten Scoundrels announce lead cast

Tony-Sheldon 2Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, the devilishly cheeky, fun-filled Broadway musical has announced its lead cast ahead of its opening at Sydney’s Theatre Royal later this year.

Tony Sheldon returns to Australia following his huge success on the West End and Broadway in Priscilla Queen of the Desert to lead the cast as Lawrence Jameson, a suave conman who believes in tricking corrupt, rich people out of their money to finance his lavish lifestyle.

The cocky small-time American hustler Freddy Benson will be played by Matt Hetherington, who won a Green Room Award for playing the same role in the Production Company’s 2010 concert presentation of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.

Christine Colgate, the naive and wealthy American heiress who is the target for Lawrence and Freddy’s con, will be played by Amy Lehpamer (Rock of Ages, Margaret Fulton: Queen of the Dessert), while veteran actor John Wood plays Lawrence’s “bodyguard” Andre Thibault.

Two of the women conned by the pair, Muriel Eubanks and Jolene Oakes, are played by musical theatre favourites Anne Wood (Mamma Mia!, The Sound of Music) and Katrina Retallick (The Addams Family, A Little Night Music).

This all new Australian production of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels will be directed by Roger Hodgman (Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Grey Gardens, Sweeney Todd), musically directed by Guy Simpson and choreographed by Dana Jolly.

Producers Stephen Doorey and George Youakim from James Anthony Productions are thrilled with the calibre of the cast for their debut production. “We loved the musical Dirty Rotten Scoundrels the first time we heard the music,” said Doorey and Youakim.

“We knew that we had to produce this musical in Sydney. To have assembled this sensational principal cast is the icing on the cake. We know that Sydney is going to fall in love with our mischievous scoundrels.”

The plot is based on the highly successful and much loved 1988 film with music and lyrics by David Yazbek and book by Jeffrey Lane, and centres around the two con men, Lawrence Jameson and Freddy Benson, on the French Riviera.

When Freddy threatens to expose Lawrence’s operation, Lawrence begrudgingly agrees to take him under his wing and tutor him in the ‘art of the con’. The pair join forces and successfully work the Riviera until Freddy, frustrated by his apprentice ‘monkey boy’ role, abandons the partnership and starts to compete with Lawrence.

It soon becomes apparent that the small French town of Beumont sur Mer isn’t big enough for the two of them. They agree on a bet – the first one to extract $50,000 from a young female ‘soap’ heiress, Christine Colgate, wins and gets to stay. The other must leave town forever.

A hilarious battle of ‘cons’ ensues that will keep audiences laughing, humming and guessing right to the end!

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels opens at Sydney’s Theatre Royal on 24 October 2013 for a strictly limited season. For more information, visit: www.dirtyrottenscoundrels.com.au for details.

Image: Tony Sheldon