London News & Search
GRAND BEND –
Lucky Stiff is a very punny play.
It’s full of visual puns, verbal puns and musical ones.
Do not go to this show if you don’t love them.
Also, don’t go if you aren’t willing to laugh at the dead.
There are probably two types of people — those who dig corpse humour, and those who are aghast when the dearly departed are mocked.
I love the stuff. I happen to think the movie Weekend at Bernie’s is hilarious, as well as a damning satire of the one per cent, so there, I’ve put my cards on the table.
Since the premise of this light comedy involves the titular stiff being taken on holiday to Monte Carlo, that means the toughest role is played by the guy who plays the body, Robert Bridel.
Never once does Bridel break character.
He even manages to bob his head ever so slightly when his on-stage nephew, Harry Witherspoon (Billy Lake) pushes his wheelchair onto a moving rail car.
The plot revolves around a very complicated last will and millions of dollars in diamonds.
Really, it’s all just an excuse to have fun and make the characters act frantic.
“It’s about a dead guy who’s having the time of his life. Otherwise known as the Donald Trump Story,” Drayton Entertainment artistic director Alex Mustakas deadpanned on opening night before the curtain rose.
I could feel the ensemble growing more comfortable and confident as the evening went on.
The second act was definitely more sure-footed than the opening one.
That’s when the piece really zeroes in on the blossoming romance between Witherspoon and Annabel Glick (Julia McLellan).
All the elements of farce are here.
It’s got slapstick comedy, madcap antics, mistaken identities, a man dressed as a nun, another man dressed as a French maid.
On her own, Ayrin Mackie, as the poufy-haired Italian Rita La Porta, will have you pondering how many fake leopards have to die to make a faux leopard-print pantsuit.
There’s even a moment of meta-theatre when Kayla James (as Dominque du Monaco), breaks the fourth wall and instructs the stage crew on how to light her.
If this week’s humid weather has got you feeling lethargic, try going to see this frothy, silly piece of nonsense.
I’m betting it will do a good job of keeping your mind off the mugginess by massaging your funny bone.
You’ll find you’re happy just to be alive.
IF YOU GO
What: Lucky Stiff, a musical comedy presented by Drayton Entertainment
When: On until Aug. 5; Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturday 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., Fridays 2 p.m.
Where: Huron Country Playhouse II, 70689 B Line, Grand Bend
Tickets: Tickets are $46 for adults, $27 for youth under 20. Contact the box office at 1-855-372-9866 or visit draytonentertainment.com for tickets, times and packages.
Rating: ***1/2 (out of five)
London News & Search