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‘Lucky Stiff’ offers superb acting, impressive set changes

Most people will go to extreme lengths when promised large sums of money. Sometimes, however, the cost of wealth is too much for an individual to pay. Harry Witherspoon, a poor shoe salesman in the play Lucky Stiff, learns this very same lesson when his uncle dies and leaves him an inheritance. His uncle promises him six million dollars if he fulfills the dead man?s final request: to travel with his corpse all over Monte Carlo.

The young man is ready for riches, and soon finds himself in predicament after predicament as he tries to convince everyone he meets that his uncle is actually alive. Eventually, the grisly details of the man?s murder begin to unfold, and it soon becomes apparent that there is more going on behind the scenes than a simple inheritance.

Clovis High School’s presentation of this play was downright entertaining. The stage was full of fast moving set pieces, beautiful costumes, and talented actors that really brought the story to life. Daniel LaJune (Harry Witherspoon) did an exceptional job as the confused young nephew, and Hannah Huyek (Rita La Porta) brought powerful vocals and hilarious expressions to the stage. The main cast was accompanied by an excellent ensemble, of which former FC student Natalie Griffin was a member.

Each member of the drama team performed at their peaks to transform the Mercedes Edwards Theatre into Monte Carlo; it really worked. One could feel the passion from their performance as they developed the story to its ultimate farcical conclusion. The entire thing brought steady chuckles to all in the audience, and more than a few contented smiles.

My only disappointment of the play is in regards to sound. There was no live orchestra, and the house speakers did not bring a very high quality sound. As a result, some of the dialogue as well as singing became garbled and inaudible. Other than that, I thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

One thing that I found especially enjoyable was the amount of complex scene changes. The actors had to rearrange the same pieces of card shaped walls into different configuration for each scene. This clearly took a lot of practice to create. I never once saw any mistakes in the movement, and the play proceeded through each scene seamlessly.

The stage movement came in to play in an extraordinary fashion during the final scenes of the play in which the actors moved around in a confused comedy. These last parts were, in my opinion, the best scenes of the play. They were smart, funny, and gave a satisfying finish to a great performance.

The students worked hard and performed well, and I enjoyed the experience immensely. They created an evening of comical fun which audiences of all ages could enjoy, and in the realm of performing art that is a rare thing.

Opening weekend was March 14th-15th and the production continued and closed on March 20th-22nd.

For more information on Clovis Unified plays and other events visit their website: cusd.com.

This writer can be reached via Twitter: @JohnathanNyberg. Follow The Feather via Twitter: @thefeather.

For more reviews, read the March 24 article, ‘Newsies’ excites with dance numbers, set changes.

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