‘Big personality’ Scout Durwood commands the stage in ‘The Hook’ at Caesars Atlantic City

Also, comedy titans Steve Martin and Martin Short return to Hard Rock AC.
Scout Durwood (left) clowns around with co-star Phil Nichol in "The Hook" at Caesars Atlantic City.
Scout Durwood (left) clowns around with co-star Phil Nichol in "The Hook" at Caesars Atlantic City.Chuck Darrow

When it comes to Scout Durwood, “what you see is what you get” definitely applies.

Durwood is one of two comedy stars of The Hook, the game-changing presentation at Caesars Atlantic City (it’s AyCee’s first Las Vegas-style, permanent production show). In it, the Kansas City native plays the role of a ship’s captain whose entrance occurs in a most surprising--and spectacularly staged—manner. The character is a bold, unfiltered, take-no-prisoners figure whose sexuality is essential to both her humor and her personality.

“A hundred percent,” laughed Durwood during a recent phone chat when asked how much of The Captain is her. “I mean, obviously, I'm maybe a little more nuanced, but [director Cal McCrystal] really let us run with our characters. And he really liked the kind of attitude I bring as a lesbian and a kind of big-personality woman, because we don't see that a lot.

“He really let me kind of run with it, and I love being bold and dismissive. He let me take the role in whatever direction I wanted it to go. Even when we were naming the captain, it was like, ‘What do we wanna call her?’ And I didn't want a silly name, so I was kind of like, what's wrong with ‘Captain?’ There is something to be said for walking around the theater; everyone salutes me and says, ‘Hello, Captain!’

“I kind of feel like I conned my way into having some sort of title--but I earned it.”

While her work in The Hook showcases Durwood’s talents as a natural (X-rated) comedian, she used the term “multi-hyphenate” several times when describing herself—and with legitimate reason: She is also an actress with several TV credits including MTV’s scripted series, Mary + Jane and Youtopia, a streaming comedy she wrote, directed and starred in (the premise has her as the leader of a cult with otherworldly interactions).

When she’s not engaging in those activities, Durwood is a singer whose debut album, Take One Thing Off, was turned into a 22-episode streaming series of the same name, and she’s about to release a Christmas album. So from whence does the multi-tasking come?

“I think for me, there's this sense of like, I don't know, maybe it's FOMO [Fear of Missing Out],” she offered, “but I just wanted to do it all. I always knew I wanted to be in the arts, to be acting and performing, or a filmmaker; when I was a kid, I would direct little movies for my friends with our camcorder.”

Durwood, a scholarship-level soccer player in her youth (she attended St. Joseph’s College in Indiana before transferring to, and graduating from, Amherst College in Massachusetts), added she enjoys show business because it, like sports, is collaborative in nature.

What she’s also enjoying these days is life in Atlantic City which, she admitted, has exceeded her expectations.

“We've all been blown away by how much we love Atlantic City,” she said of her Hook teammates. “I mean, I think we all kind of came here, maybe not kicking and screaming, but maybe eye-rolling a little bit. And now, so many of us are, like, pretty in love with this weird little town.”

Durwood’s contract will have her sticking around for a while in this “weird little town,” but she’s keeping at least one eye on the future. She didn’t speak in specifics, but it’s evident she has a game plan.

“I really wanna keep creating worlds and to put them on larger and larger stages,” she said. “I love performing; I'm definitely still writing pretty aggressively. And so, I'm gonna keep doing what I do. I just hope that it gets to touch more and more people.

“I have a couple different film and TV projects in development—that's a world that we'd all love to control, but unfortunately none of us can. And I have a live show that I premiered right before [“The Hook”] that kind of got sidetracked by it.

“And I have theatrical and writing reps that really believe in me and have my back. So I think I'll keep doing what I'm doing forever. And that's one of the nice things about being a multi-hyphenate: It's all just world-building.”

For tickets, click here.

‘The Martins’ headed back to AC

Next year already promises to be a little bit brighter in Atlantic City: Steve Martin and Martin Short are headed back to town for a May 18 show at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City.

The superstar duo’s previous performances at Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa and Hard Rock were among the most entertaining (and downright hilarious) this observer has seen in more than five decades of watching live comedy. As such, I implore you to go see these masters of mirth. I promise you won’t be sorry.

For tickets, click here.

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