Lamplight Theatre Co. cast bonds over the high-energy musical farce ‘Lucky Stiff’Jan 08, 2020 01:35PM ● By Katherine Weinstein
The close-knit cast strikes a pose in the Lamplight Theatre Co. production of “Lucky Stiff.” (Photo courtesy Eldon B. Randall/Lamplight Theatre Co.)
By Katherine Weinstein | [email protected]
Lamplight Theatre Co. at Draper Historic Theatre is kicking off 2020 with a musical comedy blast from the past, "Lucky Stiff." The wacky, fast-paced farce, which premiered off-Broadway in 1988, shares a slightly similar plot point with the movie comedy "Weekend at Bernie's," which landed in theaters a year later.
"Lucky Stiff" tells the twisted tale of Harry, a mild-mannered British shoe salesman who learns that he has inherited $6 million from a long-lost uncle in America. To collect the inheritance, however, he must take his uncle on one last trip to Monte Carlo — or lose the money to a dog shelter in Brooklyn.
Harry, however, is not the only one chasing after his uncle's millions. He lands in Monte Carlo with the corpse in a wheelchair hotly pursued by a rep from the dog shelter, a nearly blind woman who thinks the uncle is her boyfriend, a guy on the run from a hit-man and a gold-digger.
"It's like 'It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World,'" said Jessica Duncan, who plays the supposed girlfriend. "Everyone's trying to get the money. It's full of unexpected moments."
Dave Trammell, who is tackling the role of Luigi, a flashy Italian tour guide, agreed. "There are a lot of surprises, twists and turns. The pace is frenetic and there are a lot of running jokes," Trammell said. "The music tells the story. Be prepared to be surprised!"
"The dynamics between the characters is really fun," said Ross Adamson. He plays the hapless Vinnie who is literally running for his life. “Then there's the whole premise of carting around a dead guy," he added.
"It's just so silly!" director Royce Redford summed up.
"That's what makes it so fun!" said Krystal Funk.
Funk is enjoying her first lead role in a musical as Annabel, a shy woman who is devoted to saving the dogs at the shelter. That is, until she meets Harry. "Once she meets Harry, she realizes that there is more to life than dogs," Funk said.
For some of the cast members, the greatest — and most fun — challenge is getting to play a character that is opposite from their actual personalities.
The brassy, gun-toting Rita LaPorta is "opposite of who I am," Duncan said. "This role is challenging me to get out of my shell."
Daniel Bradley, in the lead role as Harry, said he is enjoying playing such a funny guy. "I get to be someone else," Bradley said with a smile. "He's a dog-hater. I definitely am not."
In addition, "Almost everybody is playing more than one role," Trammell said.
The actors also get to put on various accents in this show. Harry is British while other characters have New York accents. Luigi is Italian. "It's fun to see how many accents and personalities come out in the show," Trammell said.
The camaraderie among the actors is palpable. Bradley is enjoying working with his fellow cast members. "There's a lot of good talent here," he said.
"We've instantly connected as friends," Funk added.
Bradley encourages audiences to check out this lesser-known musical farce. "There are a lot of good laughs ahead," he said.
Lamplight Theatre Co. is under the umbrella of Draper Historic Theatre and stages material that is a little more geared toward teen and adult audiences.
"Lucky Stiff," by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, will be presented at Draper Historic Theatre Jan. 10-27. Draper Historic Theatre is located at 12366 South 900 East in Draper. For online ticket purchases and more information, visit www.drapertheatre.org or call 801-572-4144 during the run of the show.