Drama Board to Present Mainstage Musical “Lucky Stiff”

Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.

Ever since the first semester thespians and drama fans alike have been talking about Drama Board’s possible upcoming main stage musical, “Little Shop of Horrors.” Naturally, there was a great deal of surprise when it was announced that “Lucky Stiff,” a musical by Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens, and not “Little Shop,” would be presented in April to the Swarthmore campus. As it turns out, the “Little Shop” rights could not be obtained.

Director Laura Holzman explained, “We were unable to get the rights to “Little Shop of Horrors” because the national tour will be in Philadelphia about a month before our scheduled run. As the national tour, they are entitled to freeze the rights and prevent anyone from putting on a competing production.”

Despite the initial surprise, most seem to be pleased and excited about the change. Holzman remarks, “Lucky Stiff” is quite different from “Little Shop,” but it’s still a really fun show…I’m really excited about seeing this production come together. The show’s complexity has prompted us to come up with some creative solutions to design questions, which I think is going to result in a really excellent looking show. It’s not what we’d originally planned for, but it’s going to be great.”

“Lucky Stiff” is basically a farce about a young, rather insecure British fellow who inherits 6 million dollars from an uncle he has never met – but will only receive the money if he takes his uncle’s corpse on a wild, fun-filled vacation to Monte Carlo. Along the way, the young man must contend with other characters that are absolutely determined to get the money for themselves, characters who include a rather stubborn charity worker, his uncle’s homicidal and legally blind lover, and the lover’s neurotic brother. Says Holzman, “It may sound a little ridiculous, but the show is clever, the music is catchy, and the script is full of opportunities for artistic adventures.”

Others involved in “Lucky Stiff” are equally exuberant about the upcoming productions. Regarding its being chosen instead of “Little Shop,” producer Phil Katz says, “I prefer this one. I think it’ll be a lot funnier…there’s a lot of potential for physical comedy.” Actress Cara Arcuni, who portrays the romantic and obstinate Annabelle Glick, says that she is “really excited, because [Lucky Stiff] is a musical I’m not familiar with, so it’s a chance to learn new songs and break new ground.” In all, “Lucky Stiff” looks as though it will be a delightfully entertaining experience for all of Swarthmore, and students can look forward to its clever and irreverent sense of humor in the spring.

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