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LUCKY STIFF Musical in 2 Acts and 10 Scenes: Music by Stephen Flaherty: Book & Lyrics by Lynn Ahrens; Suggested by the play The Man Who Broke The Bank At Monte Carlo by Michael Butterworth Playwrights Theatre Off-Broadway, 25 April, 1988 (15 perfs) SYNOPSIS This murder mystery farce propels a mild-mannered English shoe clerk into a lunatic mix of murdered Atlantic City croupier, his near-sighted jilted mistress, her hen-pecked brother and several hundred (off-stage) dogs. Witherspoon will inherit six million dollars if he can successfully go on holiday with his uncle, the late departed croupier, in Monte Carlo for a week. If he doesn't pull it off, the money goes to the Universal Dogs Home of Brooklyn - and if there is one thing in life that Harry hates, it's dogs! With a tuneful score and a well-oiled plot, plus the ultimate happy ending, Lucky Stiff guarantees hilarity for one and all. STORY ACT I. Prologue: Ten characters warn the audience of the numerous plot twists to come. As they sing, one of them, a man wearing dark glasses and silk pajamas, is murdered, and the cast blithely steps around and over him to finish the number. Shy, unworldly British shoe salesman, Harry Witherspoon, spends his Friday night taking inventory in the shoe shop and dreaming of a better life. Meanwhile, in his dog-ridden boarding house in East Grinstead, Harry's landlady and her motley crew of boarders intercept a telegram meant for him. In a London solicitor's office, Harry learns he has inherited six million dollars from Anthony Hendon, an American uncle whom he has never met. The only condition is that Harry must take Uncle Anthony's corpse on one last vacation to Monte Carlo. If Harry is unwilling to do it, the money will go to Uncle's favourite charity, the Universal Dog Home of Brooklyn. With trepidation, Harry accepts a cassette tape of instructions to follow, a mysterious heart-shaped box to guard, and Uncle's well-preserved corpse, wearing sunglasses and seated elegantly in a wheelchair. Travelling to Monte Carlo on the luxurious Train Bleu, a terrified Harry tries to fend off curious fellow travellers. Harry meets Luigi Gaudi, a flashy Italian who offers his services as a guide; he also notices a mysterious young woman, who appears to be watching him and taking notes. Meanwhile, in Atlantic City, an optometrist, Vinnie Di Ruzzio, is visited by his extremely near-sighted sister, Rita La Porta. Rita reveals to her brother that she has accidentally murdered her lover while not wearing her glasses; that the six million dollars in diamonds she and her lover had embezzled from her husband is gone; that her lover was Harry's Uncle Anthony; and that the heart-shaped box full of jewels is now en route to Monte Carlo! Rita also reveals to her shocked brother that she has implicated him in her schemes. Together, they embark for Monte Carlo to find Harry and retrieve the money before Rita's gangster husband does something nasty. Harry has managed to get Uncle to their suite at the Hotel de Paris, and now tries to convince himself that everything will be fine. Pushing Uncle through the streets of Monte Carlo, Harry once again fends off Luigi Gaudi, but soon realises he's being followed by the young woman from the train. He confronts her and learns