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University of Iowa News Release


Feb. 15, 2008

Hit musical 'Dirty Rotten Scoundrels' comes to Hancher March 7 and 8

The hit musical comedy "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels," nominated for 11 Tony Awards, will come to the University of Iowa Hancher Auditorium for three performances: 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 7; and 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 8.

Based on the popular 1988 Steve Martin/Michael Caine film of the same title, "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels" portrays the misadventures of two con men living on the French Riviera. The first is the suave and sophisticated Lawrence Jameson, who makes his lavish living by talking rich ladies out of their money. The other, a small-time crook named Freddy Benson, more humbly swindles women by waking their compassion with fabricated stories about his grandmother's failing health.

After meeting on a train, they unsuccessfully attempt to work together only to find that this small French town isn't big enough for the two of them. They agree on a settlement: The first one to extract $50,000 from a young female target, heiress Christine Colgate, wins and the other must leave town.

When the show played 666 performances on Broadway, Terry Teachout wrote in the Wall Street Journal, "I know funny when I see it, and this show is a perfect hoot! A big hit." And Robert Feldberg of The Record called the show, "One of the most deliciously funny, smashing shows of the last 20 years! This is musical-comedy heaven."

In addition to the National Tour coming to Hancher, international productions have opened in Tokyo, Mexico City, Madrid, Heidelberg, Oslo and Stockholm, and productions are planned for Copenhagen, Reykjavik and London.

The script was written by Jeffrey Lane, best known for his work on television shows including "Mad About You," "Ryan's Hope," "Lou Grant" and "The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd."

Composer/lyricist David Yazbek won fame for "The Full Monty," which garnered Tony and Grammy nominations and won the Drama Desk Award for Best Score. He earned an Emmy for his work with "Late Night with David Letterman" and wrote the theme song for "Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego." As a songwriter/producer he has worked with XTC, Tito Puente, Ruben Blades, Crash Test Dummies, the Persuasions, Savion Glover and They Might Be Giants.

Designer David Rockwell has been responsible not only for the stage sets for "Hairspray," "The Rocky Horror Show" and "All Shook Up," but also for the visual world of Matt Stone and Trey Parker's "Team America: World Police" movie.

The "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels" performances are supported by Terry and Johanna Abernathy, Everybody's Whole Foods, and Toyota/Scion of Iowa City and ABRA Auto Body and Glass, through the University of Iowa Foundation.

Tickets are $57/52/47, UI student $57/46.80/42.30.

The Hancher Auditorium Box Office business hours are 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. weekdays and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays. From the local calling area, dial 319-335-1160. Long distance is toll-free, 1-800-HANCHER. People with special needs for access, seating and auxiliary services should dial 319-335-1158, which is equipped with TDD for people with hearing impairment who use that technology.

Tickets may be ordered online at

Orders may be charged to VISA, MasterCard or American Express. UI students may charge their purchases to their university bills, and UI faculty and staff may select the option of payroll deduction. Information and brochures may be requested by e-mail at

For UI arts information and calendar updates, visit To receive UI arts news by e-mail, go to, click the link "Join or leave the list (or change settings)" and follow the instructions.


STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Arts Center Relations, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 351, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACT: Winston Barclay, 319-384-0073 (office), 319-430-1013 (cell),