[media-credit name=”Alex Thedell” align=”alignright” width=”300″][/media-credit]With 25 different roles and only 11 cast members, keeping up with the who’s who and the whodunit will keep audience members busy throughout “Lucky Stiff.” The Weber State University Performing Arts Department is putting on the musical stage production.
“We looked for people who showed creativity and flexibility,” said director Jim Christian. “We have four actors performing four or more characters.”
He said getting into character is going to be a challenge for some of the cast.
“There are dialects, body changes and costume changes that are like lightning at times,” Christian said, “and that’s part of the fun of the show.”
In casting “Lucky Stiff,” Christian looked for 11 actors who had strong comic sense and knew how to make an extreme character believable.
“You’re going to laugh,” Christian said, “and the music is great. It’s a fun evening at the theater.”
Tanner Rampton, a WSU sophomore studying musical theater, plays five of the characters: the bellhop, the punk, a couple of different waiters, and the carpio. Rampton said his favorite part is the bellhop or the punk.
“They’re very different from each other,” he said. “It’s fun to get to do the crisp clean ‘bellhoppy’ side and the grungy punk stuff all in the same night.”
Four of Rampton’s characters are French service positions.
“I’ve got to find something different for each character when I step on stage,” he said. “(They’re) not one character holding several positions, but four different people.”
Rampton also promised that audience members will not only be on the edges of their seats with suspense, but laughing.
Based on the 1983 novel “The Man Who Broke the Bank at Monte Carlo” by Michael Butterworth, “Lucky Stiff” is the first collaboration of Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty. Ahrens and Flaherty also collaborated on “Ragtime,” “Seussical the Musical,” “Once on This Island” and the feature film “Anastasia.”
Shelby Anderson, a WSU senior in musical theater, plays the drunken maid, spinster, a secretary, Southern Lady and a leaper. Anderson said she enjoys playing the Southern Lady.
“Being able to be two different people in a short amount of time makes it fun,” she said.
Anderson said the show boasts an impressive set and costumes and is fast-paced, while Christian spoke highly of his cast.
“It’s colored with some pretty bright crayons, done in very broad strokes,” Christian said.
“Lucky Stiff” will be performed in the Allred Theater of the Val A Browning Center for the Performing Arts Nov. 2-10. Tickets are $12 or $9 for all shows and are on sale at the Dee Events Center and the Browning Center Box Office.