When the curtain call was over for the Granbury Theatre Company’s production of “Lucky Stiff,” I had to check to do a quick check to see if I still had a rear end.
I thought I’d laughed it off.
This is one of the funniest shows I’ve seen in a long time in Granbury. From the acting to the plot to the music, it just doesn’t get any funnier than this.
Andrew Barrus, who also directed, stars as Harry Witherspoon, a mild-mannered British shoe salesman struggling to get by. One day he gets a telegram informing him an uncle he never knew has died and left him $6 million – with one condition.
Harry is to take Uncle Tony to Monte Carlo. It was his dying wish, and besides, the trip is already paid for.
If Harry fulfills his uncle’s wish and visits every site, eats at every restaurant, and visits every casino and dance hall on time and follows his requests, he gets the money. If he slips up just one time, the money goes to a dog shelter in Brooklyn under the control of Annabel Glick (Jenny Latimer, also music director).
Parts of the show come across a musical “Weekend at Bernie’s,” – but that’s okay. That was a hilarious movie (the first one, not the ridiculous sequel).
As he tries to fulfill his uncle’s wish, Harry and Annabel find themselves also trying to stay alive. It seems the money Harry is to inherit was stolen from a mobster, and Tony’s ex-lover (and murderer) Rita (Emily Warwick) wants it back – as does her brother Vinnie (Greg Bateson), an innocent optometrist whom she blamed the theft on.
Barrus is hilarious, and Latimer is a terrific complement. Eric Matsco, despite never moving (except when he is moved by someone else) does a fantastic job as Tony’s dead body in a wheelchair.
Cooper Dodd takes on several roles, and is a scene stealer in almost every one. He especially shines as the attorney informing Harry of the inheritance and how to get it, and as an overzealous dance hall emcee.
The dialogue is funny, the lyrics to the songs are equally so. The action clips along briskly, with laughs coming fast and furious. It’s just a great escape from reality for a couple of hours, and who can’t use that, especially when it’s filled with laughter.
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