Theatre Mirror Reviews - "Lucky Stiff"

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"What Happened in Boston, Willie"


entire contents copyright 2006 by Tony Annicone

"Lucky Stiff"

Reviewed by Tony Annicone

Summer Stage at Bishop Hendricken's first show is Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty's "Lucky Stiff" based on "The Man Who Broke the Bank at Monte Carlo" by Michael Butterworth. The show is a zany, offbeat and funny murder mystery farce about an unassuming English shoe salesman who is forced to take the corpse of his recently-murdered Atlantic City gambler uncle on a week long cruise to Monte Carlo. Should he succeed, Harry Witherspoon stands to inherit six million dollars and if not the money would go to the Universal Dog Home of Brooklyn. The proceedings are sheer lunacy as Harry comes up against his uncle's insanely jealous and legally blind mistress, her much put-upon optometrist brother and Annabel Glick, an overly zealous representative from the Universal Dog Home determined to see Harry's inheritance "go to the dogs". The show is done on a unit set and is directed at lightning speed by Brian Cordeiro with expert musical direction by college junior, E. Justin Simone who plays the piano superbly, too. Jordan Fielding supplies the needed farcical lighting while Kerrin Nagle supplies the numerous and colorful costumes.

Brian not only directs the show but plays numerous roles throughout it. Since it is a mystery, I won't give away too much of who's who and what the outcome of the evening is. Brian's madcap characters are hysterical and he and his eight member cast are whirling dervishes in their roles. Andrew Brown is excellent as the pigeon toed Harry who is a bumbling nerd. He uses a great British accent and sells his songs including "Lucky" and "A Woman in my Bathroom". Nancy Anastadis is also excellent as the dog loving, Annabel. Her strong voice is heard in "Dog Versus You" and "Nice" with Andrew and in her solo "Times Like This" about her dogs. The obnoxious Rita from Brooklyn is played by the scene stealing Katie Hughes. Her near sighted wacky broad role is a hoot as she waves her gun around while singing "Rita's Confession" and "Fancy Meeting You Here". Her henpecked brother is well played by Shawn McKay who gets to sing a song to his wife over the phone called "The Phone Call". The three crazy bimbos in the show who play multiple roles are Becky Ryan, Brooke Souza and Danielle Towne. Rounding out the cast is Colin Sullivan who plays the body in the wheelchair. He gets to strut his stuff several times during the show. So for a farcical musical mystery, be sure to catch "Lucky Stiff" to find out whodunnit.

"Lucky Stiff" (23 - 25 June)
SUMMER STAGE @ BISHOP HENDRICKEN
2615 Warwick Avenue, WARWICK R I
1 (401) 739-3450

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide

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