Con Artists

The stereotypical ex-con is a burly bruiser whose tattooed biceps are bigger around than Shakira’s thunder thighs. So it’s a bit of a shock to see pretty, petite University of Arizona grad Trisha Hart Ditsworth play a parolee who was convicted of murder in Phoenix Theatre’s musical production of The Spitfire Grill.

Ditsworth stars as Percy, a recently released convict who gets a second chance when she settles in a small Wisconsin town and helps the owner of a local greasy spoon sell the place through an ingenious raffle. The Spitfire Grill cast also includes Valley veterans Jeannie Shubitz, Barbara McBain, and Toby Yatso, last seen in Nearly Naked’s Oedipus for Kids.

While the thought of a Lifetime TV-worthy plot combined with rollicking musical ditties scares the crap out of us, we’re mildly comforted by director Brad Carroll’s assertion that the show is simple, honest, and “does not rely on spectacle, gimmicks, decibel levels or high-tech smoke-and-mirrors to compensate for lack of content.”

Wed., Oct. 5, 7:30 p.m.; Thu., Oct. 6, 7:30 p.m.; Fri., Oct. 7, 8 p.m.; Sat., Oct. 8, 3 & 8 p.m.; Sun., Oct. 9, 2 p.m.; Wed., Oct. 12, 7:30 p.m.; Thu., Oct. 13, 7:30 p.m.; Fri., Oct. 14, 8 p.m.; Sat., Oct. 15, 3 & 8 p.m.; Sun., Oct. 16, 2 & 6:30 p.m.; Tue., Oct. 18, 7:30 p.m.; Wed., Oct. 19, 7:30 p.m.; Thu., Oct. 20, 7:30 p.m.; Fri., Oct. 21, 8 p.m.; Sat., Oct. 22, 3 & 8 p.m.; Sun., Oct. 23, 2 p.m., 2011