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Arts council presents first adult musical
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels set to open Friday
Adult musical pic
Chris Rodriguez, left, Russ Ivey and Becky Binion maintain character despite Iveys animated response to the price of lunch during the scene. - photo by Mark Watkins Dawson Community News

Opening this Friday, the Dawson County Arts Council is presenting its first adult musical, "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels."

Based on the popular 1988 film, the musical is a comedy revolving around playful banter, mischievous scams and sudden twists.

"We are very excited for this musical," said Marcia Chelf, executive director of Bowen Center for the Arts. "Several of the actors are professionals or pre-professionals and are coming in from all over north Georgia. We are really bringing in an interesting group."

The musical revolves around two fraudsters plying their trade in the French Riviera. While one is a cultivated gentleman who cons rich society ladies, the other is a small-time amateur thief who uses fabricated stories to convince women into pitying him.

At once humorous and witty, the musical also has a hint of romance as the two con artists vie for a single woman's money and affections.

"It's so funny and I think the community will really get a kick out it," said director Jamie Fambrough.

Veteran singers and performers Michael Arens and Russ Ivey will play the con artists roles.

Arens, based in Cumming, is an opera singer who has performed in the past at The Black Bear Dinner Theatre, The Capitol City Opera and The Atlanta Opera.

Ivey also is an experienced performer well known as being the founder and treasurer of The Metropolitan Atlanta Theater Awards.

Heatherly Wanamaker-Nelson plays Christine Colgate, the rich woman the fraudsters battle over.

"I am amazed at the combined talents of this show," said Dawsonville resident and ensemble member Jackie Somerville. "I am thrilled to be a part of it."

The youngest performer is 17-year-old Sean Newman. He plays numerous parts in the cast ensemble.

"I feel like I fit in with this age group. It's a wonderful opportunity," he said.

Chelf said the musical is recommended for viewers 13 years and older.

"We took the profanity out but the subject matter is still for an older audience," she said.

Somerville said she is excited about the future of adult theater in Dawson County.

"It's just the beginning," she said.

"Dirty Rotten Scoundrels" opens at 8 p.m. Friday at Riverview Middle School's auditorium at 5126 Hwy. 9 South, Dawsonville. Other shows will be at 8 p.m. Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday, and 8 p.m. on July 26.

Tickets are $12 for adults and $8 for students, seniors or arts council members. To reserve tickets, e-mail or call (706) 216-2787.