Razzle-dazzle treatment leaves smile on your face

Rufus Hound in Dirty Rotten ScoundrelsYet another classic film-turned-musical hits the West End with the arrival of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, but unlike recent turkey Fatal Attraction, this story of conmen peddling tall tales to heiresses in a fantasy French Riviera is ripe for the razzle-dazzle jazz-hands treatment.

Nor is its derivativeness problematic in a production that celebrates and winks at tradition, borrowing liberally from The Producers’ zany screwball and Guys and Dolls’ charming moral relativism, vaudevillian slapstick, Noël Coward-esque acerbic one-liners, Cole Porter and the French chanson, and lavish MGM setpieces.

Director/choreographer Jerry Mitchell juggles sublimely silly throwback and slick postmodern pastiche: the fourth wall is broken in between soft-shoe shuffles, and if French maids wiggle and bellhops flea hop, they do so ironically.

Read my full Ham & High review here

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