If you want to see a musical comedy about a man pushing his dead uncle in a wheelchair from England to Monte Carlo, look no further than the spring musical.
From April 20 to April 29, students can see “The Lucky Stiff” at the Jerry Herman Ring Theatre. The show, with book and lyrics by Lynn Ahrens and music by Stephen Flaherty, is inspired by 1983 novel “The Man Who Broke the Bank at Monte Carlo” by Michael Butterworth.
“The Lucky Stiff” tells the adventure of Harry Witherspoon — a shy, young British man — as he travels from England to Monte Carlo. When his Uncle Anthony passes away and leaves him a fortune of $6 million, there comes an unfortunate catch: he must take Anthony’s dead body to Monte Carlo. If Witherspoon fails, the money will go to the Universal Dog Home of Brooklyn. Meanwhile, Anthony’s lover Rita is also after the money! Talk about a plot twist.
Yash Ramanujam, a senior BFA musical theater major, plays the lead role of Harry Witherspoon.
“The whole premise [of the musical] is pretty wacky, but the story has a lot of heart to it,” Ramanujam said. “Through the strange adventures [the characters] go on, Harry finds out how to break out of his shell and really start to live his life.”
Christopher Cline, a senior BFA musical theater major, plays Luigi / Living Anthony in the musical.
“The musical is very light-hearted. It’s goofy and playful and the company brings life and personality to the show,” Cline said. “The songs are catchy and there are a lot of moments that will leave the audience wondering what happens next.”
Though the the show’s cast and crew had less rehearsal time than usual for a Ring Theatre production, they enjoyed the process nonetheless.
“The process so far was pretty smooth, actually. We blocked the entire show very quickly thanks to our director John Berst,” Ramanujam said.
“The Lucky Stiff” has it all — talented students, entertainment, humor, drama and, of course, an intriguing murder mystery.
“Having students in the audience makes it that much more fun for us to perform and showcase the work we have done,” Cline said. “It is an opportunity for students to attend something they otherwise would not get exposure to.”
Ramanujam believes that students should attend the show for a one-of-a-kind experience.
“[It’s] exactly what is needed right now,” Ramanujam said. “It’s a light and joyous production with a lot of hilarious, wacky characters and romance to boot.”
Ticket prices are $27 for regular admission, $24 for senior citizens, UM faculty/staff and alumni and $12 for students. Students with a ‘Cane Card can attend for free on Wednesday, April 26 at 8 p.m.
The Ring Theatre box office hours are Wednesday through Friday from 12-4pm. Call (305) 284-3355 for more information.