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Posted by : RodDungate on Oct 02, 2017 - 12:00 PM London
London.
LUCKY STIFF
Book & Lyrics by Lynn Ahrens.
Music by Stephen Flaherty.
Based on The Man Who Broke the Bank at Monte Carlo by Michael Butterworth.

3***


The Union Theatre, Old Union Arches, 229 Union Street, London SE1 0LR to 21 October 2017.
Tues-Sat 7.30pm Mat Sat & Sun 2.30pm.
Runs 1 hr 55 mins One interval.

TICKETS: 020 7261 9876.
www.uniontheatre.biz
Review: William Russell 20 September.

Pushing a corpse around


Book & Lyrics by Lynn Ahrens.
Music by Stephen Flaherty.
Based on The Man Who Broke the Bank at Monte Carlo by Michael Butterworth.

3***

The Union Theatre, Old Union Arches, 229 Union Street, London SE1 0LR to 21 October 2017.
Tues-Sat 7.30pm Mat Sat & Sun 2.30pm.
Runs 1 hr 55 mins One interval.

TICKETS: 020 7261 9876.
www.uniontheatre.biz
Review: William Russell 20 September.

Pushing a corpse around


Book & Lyrics by Lynn Ahrens.
Music by Stephen Flaherty.
Based on The Man Who Broke the Bank at Monte Carlo by Michael Butterworth.

3***

The Union Theatre, Old Union Arches, 229 Union Street, London SE1 0LR to 21 October 2017.
Tues-Sat 7.30pm Mat Sat & Sun 2.30pm.
Runs 1 hr 55 mins One interval.

TICKETS: 020 7261 9876.
www.uniontheatre.biz
Review: William Russell 20 September.

Pushing a corpse around

Paul Callan’s production of this, the first musical written by Ahrens and Flaherty who went on to create Ragtime among others, is energetic and moves swiftly. But while it may have won the Richard Rogers Award in 1988 – it ran off Broadway for 15 performances – and has been revived at the Bridewell twice in 1997 and 2011 it really is fairly dire.

The plot is rudimentary. East Grinstead shoe salesman Harry Witherspoon – a nicely gawky Tom Elliot Reade – is left six million dollars by his American croupier uncle Tony on condition he takes Tony’s corpse to Monte Carlo to visit the places uncle had always wanted to see. If he refuses the money goes to the Brooklyn dogs home. Naturally Harry, who hates dogs, accepts and is dogged by a pretty girl out to protect the interests of the dogs and a blowsy broad who happens to be uncle’s girlfriend as well as the wife of the American casino owner. The 6 million is money she and Tony stole from the casino and have turned into diamonds. Tony, however, managed to hide the stash before she killed him and she wants it.

The result is a fairly silly farce with people running all over the place at breakneck speed and the law of diminishing returns operates.

Flaherty’s score is neither here nor there, and Ahren’s lyrics do not dazzle but collectors of rarely seen musicals will enjoy it well enough and Jamie Neale’s spirited choreography certainly helps things along. It would be a help, however, if the cast could sing. Tom Elliot Reade has something of the corncrake about his voice, not that matters much as he is rather good at being a silly ass, and while Natasha Hoeberigs, as Annabel Glick, the lady from the dogs home, can sing very well, she gets few chances to prove it. Ian McCurrach as Unle Tony’s berouged wheel chair bound corpse clearly enjoys himself and his Act Two arrival is actually very funny. For the rest everyone overacts relentlessly and as a result things gets less and less funny as the evening progresses. Director Callan needs to calm them down. Less in comedy is always more.

Harry Witherspoon: Tom Elliot Reade.
Annabel Glick: Natasha Hoeberigs.
Rita La Porter: Natalie Moore-Williams.
Vincent Di Ruzzio: Tom Keeling.
Luigi Gaudi: Jonathan Leinmuller.
Tony Hendon: Ian McCurrach.
Dominique du Monaco: Lydia Marcazzo.
Ensemble: Elizabeth Bright; Beth Clarence; Tom Mann; Blake Patrick Anderson; Daniel Urch.


Director: Paul Callen.
Musical Director: Richard Baker.
Choreographer: Jamie Neale.
Designer: Reuben Speed.
Lighting Designer: Sam Waddington.
Assistant Director: Lee Dillon-Stuart.
Dance Captain: Daniel Urch.
 
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