Before they wrote the Tony Award-winning musical, Ragtime, Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty wrote a broad farcical comedy based on the 1983 novel The Man Who Broke the Bank at Monte Carlo, by Michael Butterworth. Winner of the1988 Richard Rodgers Award, the musical Lucky Stiff was eventually neglected in favor of the collaborators’ more popular work.
That makes the Village Players’ upcoming production of Lucky Stiff that much more notable.
Director Michael Gravame says,”This is a great opportunity to see a wonderful show. As far as I know, our production will be the first time the show has been done in Detroit area community theater.”
Grayame, who directed the Village Players’ production of The Drowsy Chaperone, is not a man to be intimidated by large casts, multiple scene changes, and a plot with more twists and turns than Lombard Street.
Joining Grayame in this wild ride of a show is Village Players veteran Priscilla Benson. A member of the company since 1970 and a performer in the chorus of Lucky Stiff, Benson serves as Musial Director for this production.
“The music will not be familiar to the audience,” she says. “But the music is clever, and the show is a riot.”
The story begins when Harry Whitherspoon, a quiet, unassuming shoe salesman, finds he has a rich, eccentric, murdered uncle from whom he’ll inherit a fortune if only he’ll follow certain bizarre instructions regarding the uncle’s corpse. This includes taking the embalmed uncle to Monte Carlo for a final fling. From that point, it starts to get complicated and – you guessed it – zaniness ensues.
The show runs on weekends March 9 – 25 at the Village Players Playhouse, 34660 Woodward in Birmingham. Showtime for March 9, 10, 16, 17, 23 and 24 is at 8 p.m., with matinees on March 18 and 25 at 2 p.m. The playhouse is located at 34660 Woodward, Birmingham (two blocks south of Maple Road). Tickets are $19 and may be ordered at 248-644-2075 or online.