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Cast is plenty lively in zany ‘Lucky Stiff’

SHARE Cast is plenty lively in zany ‘Lucky Stiff’

LUCKY STIFF, Mary G. Steiner Egyptian Theatre, Park City, through Aug. 31 (435-649-9371). Running time: two hours (one intermission).

PARK CITY — What could be more festive than a summer vacation in Monte Carlo? Don't let it lessen your enjoyment just because you have to share a hotel room and scuba-diving gear with your uncle, who is dead.

The upside is that Uncle has been preserved by an excellent taxidermist. Oh, and one more plus: In exchange for taking him on his posthumous vacation, your uncle has left you $6 million in his will.

This is the premise of the musical "Lucky Stiff," now being performed with great verve by the Egyptian Theatre Company in Park City. Leslie Wardwood directs.

If you are looking for a light summer spoof, here's your play. It's as frothy as a root beer float.

Set designer Marnie Sears has created a series of charming scenes; the best is the most simple, a stencil of palm trees and waves.

Taz Ellinger gives a wonderfully restrained performance as the dead man. Jeni Carver is completely over-the-top as the woman who shot him.

And there is more to be commended: Erica Hansen is grand as the torch singer (on one recent night, when her high heels went out from under her, Hansen made the fall into fun). Erin Hiatt and Doug Irey have some cute moments as the couple thrown together in a battle over the will. Erik Denton is satisfyingly fawning as the lawyer and wacky and weird in some of his other roles.

The live band is nice — Anne Puzey, music director; Kevin Mathie, keyboard — although it does tend to drown out the singing. (Maybe the actors' microphones could be turned up a notch?)

The real drawback is that none of the songs is stunning. (Stephen Flaherty wrote the music, and Lynn Ahrens wrote the book and lyrics.) None of the songs is likely to make it onto your list of personal favorites.

Still, even if you don't walk away humming, you will walk away smiling.


E-mail: susan@desnews.com