Jonny Rotten

We’ve all done it once before: Dreading the term paper due today that you haven’t even started, you call up your professor and sob, “It’s my grandmother! (Sniff.) She’s passed away! (Insert breakdown gestures here.)” Maybe it works and she lets you off the hook – but what to do about your alive-and-well grandmother, who’s still boozing and gambling for all she’s worth down at the Indian Casino? Surely, karma will come back to get you for your deceitful ways. Just look at Jonny Fairplay. The Survivor: Pearl Islands contestant became infamous after he lied on national television, telling castmates his grandmother had died in order to advance to the final three. But look at Fairplay now. He’s a laughing stock. Last year he got his ass-kicked so bad by Danny Bonaduce that he had to be rushed to the hospital, yet people still giggled with glee.

The moral? Lying about your dead or sickly grandmother never pays off. But that’s just the ploy enacted by petty conman Freddy Benson in the movie-turned-Broadway-play Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. Benson (played by Steve Martin in the film version) uses the trick to get into the panties of his grifts, but, as you might guess, the little lie does more harm than good. And, just like with Fairplay, it’s a helluva lot of fun to watch such despicable characters get their just deserts. Soak it all in as Dirty Rotten Scoundrels worms its way to the Broward Center for the Performing Arts Au-Rene Theater (201 SW Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale) tonight thru February 10. Tickets cost $21 to $65. Call 954-462-0222, or visit
Tue., Jan. 29, 2008

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John Linn