ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

The musical comedy 'Dirty Rotten Scoundrels' opens at the Andria Theatre in Alexandria April 21

The show was originally set to hit the stage in 2020, but COVID-19 put it on hold until now.

Scoundrels 032.jpg
Kiley Ramstorf, left, a newcomer to the Andria Theatre, rehearses lines with veteran actress, Ruth Blom. The two play the roles of Andre Thibault and Muriel Eubanks in the upcoming production of "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels."
Celeste Edenloff / Alexandria Echo Press

ALEXANDRIA – Lawrence Jameson makes his lavish living by talking rich ladies out of their money. Freddy Benson more humbly swindles women by waking their compassion with fabricated stories about his grandmother's failing health.

You can watch their stories unfold in Andria Theatre’s latest production, “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels,” which opens Thursday, April 21, at 7:30 p.m.

Scoundrels 052.jpg
Dave Christman, left, in his role as Lawrence Jameson, and Joe Korkowski, in his role as Freddy Benson, are pictured during a dress rehearsal of "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels." The musical comedy opens at the Andria Theatre April 21.
Celeste Edenloff / Alexandria Echo Press

Donna Magnuson, the show’s director and the theater’s box office manager, said the cast of “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” had actually begun working on the production back in February 2020. But because of the COVID-19 pandemic, it was put on hold until now.

In February of this year, the theater once again held auditions and Magnuson said, “Magic happened. Many of the cast members from the original auditions came back and we were also blessed with some new faces.”

She also added, “Every night we discover new jokes and antics on the stage.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Magnuson said the cast of “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” is amazing and that some of them have been waiting two years to play a part so they are ready to showcase their talents to the audience.

Scoundrels 025.jpg
Cast members of "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels," a musical comedy opening at the Andria Theatre on April 21, rehearse for the show on Tuesday, April 12. Pictured are, from left, David Christman, Ruth Blom, Kip Sundlee, Brian Fleming, Dina Shea and Bonnilynn Tungseth.
Celeste Edenloff / Alexandria Echo Press

Being in the role of director, Magnuson said it is like being a painter.

“I have a vision of what the final piece should look like,” she said. “The palette of colors are the actors and the crew, and the script is like brushes that tell the story. I love seeing when the painting comes to life with all the pieces and then handing it over to the audience to enjoy.”

The cast and crew of this show, said Magnuson, have become a theater family on a mission of bringing a night of warm laughter. Their goal, she added, is to transport theater patrons to the glitzy French Riviera where they will meet two very different con men – Jameson and Benson – along with a beauty queen and the upper class society of the small resort of Beaumont-sur-Mer.

“Our lovable con men have their own very unique methods of getting bored-wealthy women to part with their cash and jewels,” said Magnuson. “However, the town isn’t big enough for both of them, so between them, they decide that the first to make $50,000 will stay in Beaumont-sur-Mur and the loser must leave town. Their target? The wealthy, yet somewhat naive ‘American Soap Queen’ Christine Colgate.”

It’s a homecoming

As an opera singer and not being on stage for the last few years, Riley Ramstorf said, “It’s a homecoming,” being on stage at the Andria Theatre.

Ramstorf moved to the Alexandria area five years ago and is new to the Andria Theatre. His first performance will be playing the role of Andre Thibault, who he described as a local corrupt police chief.

A friend of Ramstorf’s told him about the production and the need for more men, which is why he decided to go ahead and try out. And he is glad he did.

ADVERTISEMENT

Scoundrels 016.jpg
Playing the roles of Lawrence Jameson, left, and Andre Thibault, are David Christman, a veteran on the Andria Theatre stage, and Andre Thibault, who is in his first play at the downtown Alexandria theater. The show, "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels," opens Thursday, April 21, at 7:30 p.m.
Celeste Edenloff / Alexandria Echo Press

“So many different characters have so many different accents, it’s incredible. The ability to do that and do it well, is why people should come and see the show,” said Ramstorf. “And because I am in it. And yes, I will be dancing.”

He also said that as the show is a musical comedy, people should really pay attention to the lyrics of the songs as he said they are “quite clever.”

Ramstorf said the cast is talented and everyone is having fun. He noted what is kind of neat about the cast is that there isn’t one person who is really good at everything. He said they are good, excellent really, at different things. He said there are some who are experienced dancers and then there are veteran actors who do a great job. Some of the singers, like Heather Hjelle, are “outstanding,” he said.

Looking for love

Ruth Blom is a veteran at the Andria Theatre – she’s spent plenty of time on stage and off stage. She will be playing the role of Muriel Eubanks, who she described as a very wealthy, divorced woman who is looking for love by traveling the world.

Blom, who lives in Alexandria, says she thoroughly enjoys the acting process and the challenges of memorizing her lines. And, she said, she loves doing musicals as they are a lot of fun for her.

Scoundrels 063.jpg
Ruth Blom of Alexandria rehearses for her role as Muriel Eubanks in the Andria Theatre's upcoming production of "Dirty Rotten Scoudrels." The show, a musical comedy, opens Thursday, April 21 at 7:30 p.m.
Celeste Edenloff / Alexandria Echo Press

Working with different people and the camaraderie of cast members is what keeps bringing her back to the Andria stage.

As for why people should come and see “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels,” Blom said because it is a really funny show.

“If people can keep up with the puns and one liners, they’re doing great,” she said, noting that her favorite costume in the production is her bathrobe. “If you want to know what that’s all about, I guess you’ll have to come and see the show!”

ADVERTISEMENT

Cast

Lawrence Jameson – David Christman

Freddy Benson – Joe Korkowski

Christine Colgate – Leah Drexler

Andre Thibault – Kiley Ramstorf

Muriel Eubanks – Ruth Blom

Jolene Oakes – Heather Hjelle

Lenore/woman 1/nun – Bonnilynn Tungseth

Sophia/woman 2 – Jennifer Becker

Renee/maid/woman 4 – Brianna Varnum

Usherette – Beth Staples

Woman 3/nun – Dina Shea

Hotel manager/sailor/Nico – Joel Dahlheimer

Waiter/bellboy/conductor – Brian Fleming

Desk clerk/sailor/man croupier – Kip Sundlee

Tourist/maid – Sierra Altinger

Tourist/maid – Samantha Swensrud

Tourist/maid – Kianna Spates

CrewDirector – Donna Magnuson

Vocal director – Greg Raether

Choreographer – Christine Reilly

Set construction – Greg Bohl

Assistant director/music tracks technician – Jennifer Raether

Props mistress/set design – Hilary Ninman

Stage manager – Ailee Velazquez

Lighting design/technician – Maryn Cabinaw

Costume design – Janet Baker

Hair/makeup – Kathryn Tomoson

Video director/projectionist – Holly Wallerich

Rehearsal accompanist – Ruth Blom

If you go

WHAT: “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels”

WHEN: April 21-23 and April 28-30 at 7:30 p.m. and April 24 and May 1 at 2 p.m.

WHERE: Andria Theatre, 618 Broadway St., Alexandria

TICKETS: Go to www.andriatheatre.org or call the box office at 320-762-8300.

Related Topics: ECHO PRESSALEXANDRIATHEATERANDRIA THEATREEVENTS
Celeste Edenloff is the special projects editor and a reporter for the Alexandria Echo Press. She has lived in the Alexandria Lakes Area since 1997. She first worked for the Echo Press as a reporter from 1999 to 2011, and returned in 2016 to once again report on the community she calls home.
What To Read Next
The Minneapolis show is the 20th stop of the 41-show tour of her "Renaissance World Tour," bringing a live taste of her latest album to 40 cities in North America and Europe.
Jackson Burns is a father, healthcare provider and a musician whose purpose in life is music.
The art center's photo club will also start preparing for its spring exhibit.
The show, directed by Ann Hermes, takes on the topic of mental illness.