No luck needed: Mercyhurst students shine in performances of ‘Lucky Stiff’

No luck needed: Mercyhurst students shine in performances of ‘Lucky Stiff’

Bella Lee, Staff writer

On Oct. 21-23, the Mercyhurst community had the opportunity to watch “Lucky Stiff,” a musical based on the book “The Man Who Broke the Bank at Monte Carlo,” at Taylor Little Theatre. Directed by Brett Johnson, Ph.D., director of the Mercyhurst Theatre Program, rehearsals began for this back in late August with an original performance date of Sept. 8-11, before being postponed.

The show follows Harry Witherspoon (Braden Rosciszewski), a shoe salesman who is suddenly tasked with taking the body of his recently deceased Uncle Tony (Michael Harper) on a week-long trip to Monte Carlo per his last wishes. If Harry can pass off his uncle as alive during this trip, he can earn an inheritance of six million dollars; if he fails, it will either go to the Universal Dog Home of Brooklyn or in the hands of Tony’s crazy ex, Rita LaPorta (Nicole French). The cast includes Eli Cowles as Vinnie, Rita’s optometrist brother; Jon Reddinger as Luigi Gaudi, an enthusiastic individual on the trip alongside Harry and Tony; Tori St. John-Gilbert as Annabel Glick, a representative for the Universal Dog Home of Brooklyn; and a variety of characters, including drunk hotel workers, nuns, and waiters, played by Kirk Morrison, Benjamin “Ben” Vacca, Tori Altsman and Ally Williams.

I attended the show on Saturday night, Oct. 22, and it was nothing short of hilarious and spectacular. Not only was the show itself quite good, but the performances by Mercyhurst students were incredible. My favorite scene is when Harry is suffering a nightmare and all the other characters are wearing dog masks, symbolizing his hatred of dogs and how much he doesn’t want the six million dollars to fall in the hands of the dog home. Luigi Gaudi also constantly changes beards throughout the show before (SPOILER ALERT) revealing himself to be the true Uncle Tony and the body Harry was dragging around in a wheelchair to be the real Luigi Gaudi.

The variety of characters each actor was able to take on was commendable to say the least. Overall, Lucky Stiff was absolutely hilarious. I could not stop laughing throughout the show, and I was so happy that I was able to support my friends. The next performance of the Mercyhurst Theatre Program will be Thorton Wilder’s “Our Town,” directed by Dr. Doug Powers and showing Dec. 1-3 So, mark your calendars and don’t miss this amazing opportunity!