Director Richard Stafford tames scoundrels
Philly has more than its share of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels; in fact, they are currently onstage at The Walnut Street Theater for the musical version of the Steve Martin - Michael Caine film. The music and lyrics are by David Yazbek (The Full Monty) with a book by Jeffrey Lane.
The musical, which opened in January 2005, was nominated for 11 Tony Awards. It ran for 18 months for a total of 666 performances.
This production opens the Walnut’s 201st season and stars Ben Dibble and Paul Schoeffler as those smooth operators who try to fleece a soap heiress (played by Jessica Rush) on the French Riviera.
Richard Stafford is directing the onstage mayhem. He had this to say to EDGE.
EDGE: How much fun was doing this show with this cast?
Richard Stafford: I loved, loved, loved working on this show with this cast. I had no idea, going into it, what fun we’d all have as a group. Not a day went by where we ALL didn’t laugh out loud a lot.
EDGE: What did you want to bring differently for the WST production?
Richard Stafford: I had seen the show on Broadway but, other than enjoying myself, didn’t remember so much of the physical production. I wanted something beautiful and a place with a lot of feminine energy--a place where a woman would feel beautiful--a grand staircase, lots of appealing colors, textures and jewelry. A lot of opulence. Also, I wanted a certain wackiness to the choreography.