Theatre Mirror Reviews - "Lucky Stiff"

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note: entire contents copyright 1997 by Larry Stark


"Lucky Stiff"

Book and Lyrics by Lynn Ahrens
Music by Stephen Flaherty
Based on "The Man Who Broke The Bank At Monte Carlo"
by Michael Butterworth

Directed and Choreographed by Dennis Courtney
Musical Director Jim Rice

Set Design by Laurel Dahill
Costume Design by Ted Giammona
Lighting Design by Sarah Sullivan
Sound Design by TJ Bandla
Stage Manager Donald Christy

Harry Witherspoon
MARK S. CARTIER
Body of Tony Hendon/Commuter
DARED WRIGHT
Annabel Glick/Commuter
CELESTE McCLAIN
Rita LaPora/Commuter
NATALIE BROWN
Vincent DiRuzzio/Commuter
DOUG SHAPIRO
Luigi Gaudi/Voice of Tony Hendon/Commuter/Arab
MICHAEL POISSON
Surly Lorry Driver/Solicitor/Prosperous Man in Train/Clothing Salesman/French Emcee/Croupier/Nun/Old Texan
BRUCE WARD
Offstage Telegram Deliverer/Vicious Punk/Mr. Loomis The Optometrist's Patient/French Waiter on Train/Stationmaster's Voice/Bellhop/French Waiter in Club/Dapper Gambler/Leper
CORY SCOTT
Landlady/ Miss Thorsby The Secretary/Puerto Rican Nurse/Southern Lady #1/French Airline Voice/Dancing Portrait/Drunken Maid
MONICA TOSCHES
Spinster/Southern Lady #2/Dancing Roulette Wheel/Dominique du Monaco
DEBORAH STEIN


Sometimes, in a good farce, it becomes necessary for someone to go over the top. In "Lucky Stiff" out at the Worcester Foothills Theatre, the whole cast goes over the top and then pulls the ladder up after them. It's just what this whacky, non-stop romp needs, and they all doit while singing and dancing the bounciest, silliest words and music (Lynn Ahrens & Stephen Flaherty) since Cole Porter.

The plot asks What bored London shoe-salesman (Mark S. Carter) wouldn't leap at the chance to inherit six million dollars just for escorting his poor old uncle on a week's vacation in Monte Carlo? So what if uncle is dead already but, after the ministrations of his life-long friend (a taxidermist), a supple though silent travelling companion? So what if uncle (Dared Wright) wants to be taken gambling, snorkelling and sky-diving while confined to his wheelchair? So what if a minion of a Brooklyn Dog Hospital (Celeste McClain) intends to get the money by proving our hero misses by a jot, a tittle, or a minute the letter of uncle's outlined itinerary? So what if uncle's mistress and murderess (Natalie Brown) intends to steal the six mil by waving that pistol even though she's legally blind without her glasses? So what if her optometrist brother (Doug Shapiro) has been forced --- forced I tell you --- to spend a week in Monte Carlo accomplissing her? So what if this plot-summary is too long by half and has yet to reveal the many surprise endings?

Dennis Courtney the Director and Choreographer keeps this energetic, inventive crew leaping from sight-gag to quip to hilarious song without giving the audience time to think or even to breathe between lines that whip past so fast they'll have to chuckle at half of them all the way home. The show's a hoot and should be a hit.

And now, lest we forget what the critics office is all about, two notes of dour, censorious opinion: 1) either Sound Desiger TJ Bandla has the amps cranked several points too high, or this cast has gotten louder in its enthusiasm since the tech; and 2) the program nowhere credits the perky little band --- though there's a rumor that Steven Bergman is on synths.

Love,
===Anon.


"Lucky Stiff" (till 4 January)
WORCESTER FOOTHILLS THEATRE COMPANY
Worcester Common Outlets, WORCESTER
1(508)754-3314

THE THEATER MIRROR, Boston's LIVE Theater Guide

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