'Lucky Stiff' staged at UW-Stevens Point
10/30/2012
Students Elise Lueneburg, Jake Konrath, Bryce Dutton, and Katie Bates act
out a scene from “Lucky Stiff,” a musical comedy staged by the UW-Stevens
Point Department of Theatre & Dance.
 
Mix together some music, murder, mayhem and a Monte Carlo tourist who isn’t exactly alive and you have “Lucky Stiff,” a musical comedy farce staged by the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point Department of Theatre & Dance.
The show will be performed in the Studio Theatre in the Noel Fine Arts Center, 1800 Portage St., at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 2 and 3, and Wednesday through Saturday, Nov. 7–10. A 2 p.m. matinee will be performed Sunday, Nov. 4.
Admission is $17 for adults, $16 for senior citizens and $12 for students. Tickets are available at the Information and Tickets Office in the Dreyfus University Center, http://tickets.uwsp.edu, or by calling 715-346-4100 or 800-838-3378. It is appropriate for a general audience.
“Lucky Stiff,” based on the Michael Butterworth mystery “The Man Who Broke the Bank at Monte Carlo,” tells the story of Harry Witherspoon, a timid shoe salesman who learns he has inherited his deceased Uncle Tony’s millions. To secure the money, he must follow his uncle’s request to take the preserved body on a Monte Carlo casino vacation. There he meets a few more characters after the inheritance, and mayhem ensues.
“This is a fast-paced, breathless show,” said director Bradley Vieth, an assistant professor of theatre and dance. “It’s really funny. Every minute, unexpected things are happening.”
Featuring only 10 actors, there are four leads and six that perform as multiple characters—some as many as 10—as well as the dead body, Vieth said. He has given the actors free range to create the personalities and accents of each of their characters to help them learn the sense of precision needed in a comedy.
“The students are loving it,” said Vieth. “With so much dialogue, they’re beginning to realize they’ve got to keep their concentration. We’ve rehearsed it so often that now it’s automatic, which allows for creative freedom.”
 
The music reflects many different styles, from lounge music to a tango to a ballad, he said. The abstract set features a revolving door unit that helps with the slapstick action that takes place.
“It’s set in the 70s so we have retro costumes and a brightly colored set,” Vieth said. “Visually, it’s very contrasting, so that’s part of the fun.”

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