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Con Heir

Scoundrels comes to the Palace, seeking fortunes and show tunes.

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Tom Hewitt, star of the musical Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, says his role as sophisticated con man Lawrence Jameson ranks as one of his all-time favorites. Not because it’s such a rich character or even one that gives him oodles of stage time. Rather, after lead performances in The Rocky Horror Show (he played Frank-N-Furter), Dracula, the Musical (he was the main bloodsucker), and The Lion King (as the royal Scar), the actor says he’s just happy “to play a mortal human being who wears pants.”

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (which opens at Playhouse Square tonight) is based on the 1988 movie about a pair of con men who wager to see which one can swindle a young heiress out of her fortune first. “There are a lot of twists and turns in the plot,” says Hewitt. “It has an old-fashioned Broadway structure, but it’s very contemporary.” Hewitt, who was born in Montana, says he has absolutely nothing in common with the suave charlatan he plays in the production. He credits his diverse and stuffed résumé (which spans Shakespeare to Peter Pan) to “paying tuition to acting school. It’s all over the place, isn’t it?” he laughs. “I love the imbalance of my career.” But he cautions theatergoers looking for a message in his latest gig. “There’s nothing socially redeeming about this show,” he says. “You’ll leave a worse person for having seen it. You’ll leave the show morally compromised.”
Saturdays, 1:30 & 7:30 p.m.; Tuesdays-Fridays, 7:30 p.m.; Sundays, 1 & 6:30 p.m. Starts: June 17. Continues through June 24

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