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Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (2005 Original Broadway Cast)
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Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (Original Broadway Cast Recording)
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Dirty Rotten Scoundrels Soundtrack (2005 Original Broadway Cast)
With this giddily entertaining show, David Yazbek confirms that The Full Monty wasn't a fluke--few on Broadway can equal his melodic verve and lyrical cleverness. Based on the 1988 movie of the same name, the show deals with a pair of con artists swindling rich women on the French Riviera. Lithgow brings debonair charm to the Michael Caine part, while Norbert Leo Butz (Wicked) proves to be a comic dynamo in the Steve Martin part. And Yazbek provides them with an array of catchy tunes (adorned in beautiful Bacharach-style arrangements by Harold Wheeler). Butz goes ballistic on the hilarious "Great Big Stuff," which demolishes conspicuous consumption, then pairs up with feisty leading lady Sherie Rene Scott on "Love Is My Legs," a wicked sendup of Celine Dionstyle torch epics. Meanwhile, Lightgow nails the tender ballad "Love Sneaks In." A delicious jazz reprise of "Nothing Is Too Wonderful to Be True" by Scott and pianist Bill Charlap shows that Yazbek's songs don't need flashy pizzazz to be memorable. --Elisabeth Vincentelli
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Top customer reviews
This is the second show written by the composer and the lyricist David Yazbek, the first one, "The full monty", being also made on the basis of a movie. This recording confirms David Yazbek's talent for writing excellent musical comedy shows, a genre that often seems to be underrated nowadays.
The story corresponds to the one in the original movie: we follow the adventures of the two tricksters, Lawrence (John Lithgow) and Freddy (Norbert Leo Butz) in the French Riviera, while they are trying to woo a rich American heiress Christine (Sherie Rene Scott). Of course, things are much complicated than that, so in the end the story takes an unexpected turn.
This CD has the principal musical numbers, thus being a nice summary of the show and at the same time it is also a very enjoyable listening. The score boasts with the tuneful melodies that win over the listener from the very beginning. However, this show would loose much of its appeal if it weren't for David Yazbek's catchy and humorous lyrics. There are many lyrical parts that will make you laugh throughout this show, "The Bushes of Tex/Were nervous wrecks/Because their son was dim/But look what happened to him", being just one of them. This sort of clever and witty remarks blends perfectly with the liveliness of the score.
The cast was wisely chosen. John Lithgow has just the right amount of humour and sophistication the character of Lawrence calls for, while Norbert Leo Blutz and Sherie Rene Scott are also very noteworthy. Joanna Gleason must also be mentioned. She plays an American divorcee Muriel, and her rendition of "What was a woman to do" is one of the best songs on the CD.
The CD comes with a synopsis, libretto, the lyrics and the production pics. Apart from the main musical numbers, it also features a funny warning message from John Lithgow for the home listeners and three bonus tracks. Two of them are demo recordings sung by David Yazbek himself and the third is Sherie Rene Scott singing her big number "Nothing is too wonderful to be true", accompanied by the piano only.
If you are looking for a good show from the current Broadway season, or simply a fine musical comedy, look no further. "Dirty rotten scoundrels" will provide both plus a good score packed with witty lyrics.
The CD also has three demo tracks at the end from David Yazbeck. Two out of three are wastes since he performs them himself -- the production versions of 'Ruprecht' and 'Here I Am' are done much more effectively than these pitiful demos. However, the demo of 'Nothing Is Too Wonderful' with Sherie Scott singing is a different twist on the song which I really enjoyed -- the kind of mellow piano-based tune you'd expect to hear in a jazz bar. Quite nice, in my view.
Do yourself a favor -- see the show first, which is an enjoyable experience, then get the soundtrack. For the most part, you won't be disappointed.