They are dirty. They are rotten. They are scoundrels.

Made famous first by Steve Martin and Michael Caine in the 1988 film, then later by John Lithgow and Norbert Leo Butz on stage, the Tony Award nominated musical “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” takes the stage at the Aiken Community Playhouse beginning next Friday.

“I was familiar with the movie from years ago and I always liked it; it was really funny,” director John Lewis said. “Then somebody gave me the soundtrack to the musical, and it was absolutely hilarious. I’ve wanted to do it for three years, and now I finally get to.”

Lewis is familiar with comedies on stage, but this will be the first musical for which he has served as director.

“I’ve been assistant director or stage manager on about six musicals so I’m familiar, but it’s a big transition going from straight play to musical,” said Lewis, who also credited choreographer Morgan Martin and musical director Stephen McKinney with helping to get the show off and running.

The musical is about two con men, suave Lawrence Jameson and bumbling Freddy Benson, who scour the French Riviera for lonely, rich women until they realize the town isn’t big enough for the both of them. They then strike a deal – the first to extract $50,000 from a young heiress wins, and the other leaves town.

“It’s an adult show; it can be a little bit raunchy at times,” Lewis said. “There’s spots you go, ‘Oh dang,’ but it’s really fun and enjoyable with great songs and dancing.”

This time around Patrick Williams and Brad King will be playing the two con men, Lawrence and Freddy, respectively.

Also in the main cast are Barbara Lewis (Christine Colgate), Karlton Timmerman (Andre Thibault), Lisa Fountain (Muriel) and Mandy George (Jolene).

“We’re coming along really well. The idea is to peak right when you open, and that’s where we’re at,” Lewis said. “I ended up with a good cast, maybe a little smaller than I wanted, but it’s good because it keeps everybody busy. ... There is a lot of costume changes.

“That is one of the challenges, but that is one of the good things, though. It changes from scene to scene very quickly. It’s a very fast paced show, not too many chances to get bored.”

The ACP’s performance of “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” opens on Friday at 8 p.m. with shows following on Sept. 8, 14, 15, 21 and 22 at 8 p.m., Sept. 15 and 16 at 3 p.m. and a show interpreted for the deaf and hearing impaired on Sept. 22 at 8 p.m.

Tickets for the musical are $25 for adults, $20 for senior citizens (60 and up), $15 for students and $10 for children younger than 12.

Chris Walsh is the arts and entertainment reporter for the Aiken Standard. He graduated from Valdosta State University and hails from Atlanta, GA.

Location: Aiken Community Playhouse

URS Center for the Performing Arts

126 Newberry St. Aiken, SC 29801

Information: Call (803) 648-1438 or log on to:

Box # 2Miracle on 34th Street

A play from the novel by Valentine Davies

Adapted by Patricia DiBenedetto Snydeer, Will Severin & John Vreeke

Director: Thurmond WhatleyAudition dates:

Sunday, Sept. 9th at 3 p.m. (Adults and lead female child (6-10 years)

Monday, Sept. 10 at 7 p.m. Children for ensemble

Wednesday, Sept. 12 at 7 p.m. Adults and lead female child (6 to 10 years of age)

Location: Aiken Community Playhouse

URS Center for the Performing Arts

126 Newberry St. Aiken, SC 29801

Information: For further information, call ACP box office 648-1438 or visit