"Lucky Stiff" opens at WSU

[media-credit name=”Alex Thedell” align=”alignright” width=”300″][/media-credit]”Lucky Stiff” opened last Friday on the Allred Theater stage at Weber State University. Directed by Jim Christian, the show’s plot was filled with adultery, murder and an inheritance of $6 million.

The story begins with Harry Witherspoon, played by Connor Padilla, as a bored shoe salesman, certain he will never leave his day-by-day existence, only for his life to change at the death of his casino tycoon uncle. Witherspoon inherits $6 million, enough to get him past his days of selling shoes, but there’s one catch: He must escort his (dead) uncle around Monte Carlo for his last hurrah. If he doesn’t, the leading dog home of New York will receive all of the money.

“Lucky Stiff” is based on the 1983 novel “The Man Who Broke the Bank at Monte Carlo” by Michael Butterworth. This production is a collaboration of Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty.

Annabelle Click, played by Jenessa Bowen, said she was thrilled to be a part of the show.

“My favorite thing about ‘Lucky Stiff’ is that it’s not like your usual musical,” Bowen said. “It’s got a lot of heart, a lot of running in and out of doors and on and off stage. You see that in straight theater, and to see that in a musical is very unique.”

Despite the cast consisting of only 11 actors, the show had many crowds and characters, so many actors were called upon to play as many as five or six roles. The play has 25 different parts, and actors had to play several different variations of characters throughout.

“They’re so talented,” said Bowen about her castmates. “There isn’t a weak link in the show.”

Bowen also said she loved the vision and efficiency of Christian’s direction.

“The wonderful thing about working with Jim is that we had blocking done in a week,” Bowen said. “We blocked, and then we were running. He knew exactly what he wanted. It’s one of his favorite shows.”

Bowen said she couldn’t decide what her favorite numbers in the show were.

“I love ‘(Get) Him, Them, It, Her’ (because) it involves the entire cast,” she said. “It took the longest to learn, and it’s a huge accomplishment. Either that or the number between Harry and I, ‘Nice.’ It’s a very sweet melody with (paradoxical) lyrics.”

“Lucky Stiff” will continue its run tonight. It also has a Saturday matinee and closes on Saturday night. Tickets are available from the Dee Events Center Ticket Office or the Browning Center Box Office.

Bowen said she would love it if everyone could come.

“Come see the show,” she said. “Hold on for the ride. It immediately jumps into the story.”