2 items from 2014
A breathlessly silly musical farce, “Lucky Stiff” stars Brit legit star Dominic Marsh as a hitherto luckless schmoe forced into a “Weekend at Bernie’s”-type caper in order to gain a large inheritance. Broadway director Christopher Ashley’s first feature since filming Paul Rudnick’s comedy “Jeffrey” two decades ago is another theater adaptation that remains stuck to the boards, despite the considerable talent and energy on tap. Results are equal parts diverting and strained, most likely to please the same niche audiences who have given the material a modest stage shelf life for the last quarter-century. Home-format sales should quickly surpass bigscreen prospects; a theatrical release is tentatively planned for next year.
Premiered Off Broadway in 1988, “Lucky Stiff” was the first professionally produced collaboration between Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, who would go on to create such higher-profile musical hits as “Once on This Island,” “Ragtime,” and “Seussical. »
- Dennis Harvey
Director: Christopher Ashley
Running Time: 78 minutes
Synopsis: A young down-and-out British shoe salesman named Harry Witherspoon takes his dead American uncle (a murdered casino manager) to Monte Carlo for the best time of his life – a week of fun, dancing, gambling and sun. If the young man fulfills his uncle’s request to the letter, he will inherit the $6 million left to him. If he doesn’t, the money will go to the Universal Dog Home of Brooklyn.
It’s likely you’re reading this review having never heard of Lucky Stiff; Thn certainly hadn’t. If we had, we might have known that in 1988 it debuted off-Broadway and, whilst only running for 15 performances, it won a prestigious theatre award. We may have also been aware that it has had several worldwide revivals including, in 1997, a run in the West End. »
- Victoria Bull
2 items from 2014