One of the reasons theater and the arts were created, said Calvin Malone, is for individuals to have an opportunity to escape and have a few laughs for a couple of hours, which is his hope for those attending the upcoming Encore Musicals performance of "Dirty, Rotten Scoundrels" that opens Thursday in the RiverPark Center's Jody Berry Theater.

The musical is based on the 1988 movie of the same title about two conmen and their attempts to swindle a presumed heiress. Malone portrays Lawrence, the more sophisticated of the two.

"Lawrence is an older gentleman who has made a career out of swindling rich, older women, making them fall in love with him overnight, and then disappearing with their money," Malone said. "He meets a younger conman, and he decides to take the younger guy under his wing and teach him to be more sophisticated and suave and debonaire."

Malone, originally from Owensboro, most-recently hails from the Washington D.C. area where he works as a professional actor. He said this musical is funny and has a lot of gags, which are made even better by adding music to the production.

He said it's is unlike anything else being shown in Owensboro at this time, so it's unique.

"It's a laugh-a-minute kind of production," he said, with a lot of heart. "It will be a good night to get away."

David Roberson, the show's director, said that things have been going well getting the production ready for the upcoming performances.

One thing to note about the show, however, is that it is PG-13, as there are some adult themes throughout, and Roberson advised that it is more suited for adults or older kids.

Aside from that, the show should have audiences laughing throughout, he said.

"We are just rearing to get going this Thursday," he said.

"Dirty, Rotten Scoundrels" will run through this weekend with Thursday, Friday and Saturday shows beginning at 7:30 p.m. and the Sunday matinee taking place at 2 p.m.

Tickets are $25 for adults and $15 for students. They are available at the RiverPark Center Box Office or by calling 270-687-2770.

For more information visit the Encore Musicals Facebook page, or visit riverparkcenter.org.

Bobbie Hayse, bhayse@messenger-inquirer.com, 270-691-7315.

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