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Review: Hale Centre Theatre's LUCKY STIFF is Groovy Fun

LUCKY STIFF plays through November 19, 2022.

Review: Hale Centre Theatre's LUCKY STIFF is Groovy Fun

LUCKY STIFF on Hale Centre Theatre's Jewel Box Stage opens with an ode to classic 1970s game shows, and the musical that follows is like a ride back in time via the Game Show Network. A captivating competition for a cash prize with lots of twists and turns, it's just a smidge naughty but ultimately wholesome...and always groovy.

LUCKY STIFF (book and lyrics by Lynn Ahrens, music by Stephen Flaherty) comes from the marvelous composing team of RAGTIME, ANASTASIA and SEUSSICAL. Unassuming shoe salesman Harry Witherspoon is boggled to learn he has inherited six million dollars from an uncle he's never met, but even more when he is told he must take the man's body on a post-mortem vacation to Monte Carlo or the Universal Dog Home of Brooklyn will receive the award in his stead.

From the very beginning, the audience is rooting hard for Preston Taylor (double cast with Austin Dorman) as Harry Witherspoon, who is like an adorable puppy that Universal Dog Home of Brooklyn representative Annabel Glick can't resist. As Annabel, the equally enjoyable Bre Welch (double cast with Morgan Fenner) brings crystalline vocals and a steely determination.

Also a real hoot are Claire Kenny (double cast with Kristi Curtis) and music director Kelly DeHaan (double cast with Jeffrey Whitlock) as the outlandish sister and brother duo, Rita La Porta and Vinnie Di Ruzzo, respectively.

The ensemble is constantly changing and always entertaining, thanks to not only their proficient skills but also the capable hand of director/choreographer Jim Christian.

The splendid set by Kacey Udy, projections and lighting by Jaron Hermansen, and costumes by Dennis Wright work together effortlessly to create a wacky '70s-tastic whirlwind of nostalgia with a contemporary edge. It's a fever dream of color and lights and sound that never overwhelms the unpretentious story, well-drawn characters, and fast-moving pace. Simply spoken, it's just FUN.

LUCKY STIFF plays through November 19, 2022. For tickets, call the box office at 801-984-9000 or visit www.hct.org.

Photo Credit: Hale Centre Theatre




From This Author - Tyler Hinton

Tyler Hinton has been a contributing editor at BroadwayWorld since January 2012. He has a BA from Brigham Young University (BYU) in Communications with an emphasis in Public Relations and a minor i... (read more about this author)


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