University Theatre presents musical comedy 'Lucky Stiff'

contact: Emily Duguay
| WMU News

WMU theatre students pose on-stage with a few dogs.KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Western Michigan University Theatre will stage "Lucky Stiff," a musical comedy by the same duo who wrote "Ragtime" and "Once on This Island," Jan. 26 through Feb. 11 in York Arena Theatre at the Gilmore Theatre Complex on Main Campus.


  • Friday, Jan. 26, 7:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, Jan. 27, 7:30 p.m.
  • Sunday, Jan. 29, 2 p.m.
  • Friday, Feb. 2, 7:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, Feb. 3, 7:30 p.m.
  • Sunday, Feb. 4, 2 p.m.
  • Thursday, Feb. 8, 7:30 p.m.
  • Friday, Feb. 9, 7:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, Feb. 10, 7:30 p.m.
  • Sunday, Feb. 11, 2 p.m.

'Lucky Stiff'

This musical farce follows Harry Witherspoon, a hapless English shoe salesman who gets a fateful telegram announcing that his estranged late uncle from New Jersey has left him $6 million on one condition: Harry has to take the embalmed body of his uncle, with very specific instructions, on vacation to Monte Carlo. If he doesn’t, the money will go to his uncle’s favorite charity, the Universal Dog Home of Brooklyn.

Dog-hating Harry and the dogs of Brooklyn aren’t the only ones out for the money, and it quickly devolves into a free-for-all gun chase through Monte Carlo.

"Lucky Stiff" was the first musical written by Lynn Ahrens (book and lyrics) and Stephen Flaherty (music), who went on to write Tony-Award winning shows like "Anastasia," "Once on This Island" and "Ragtime," among others.

Broadway World Los Angeles says of "Lucky Stiff":

"Everyone gets what they deserve in this to-die-for madcap musical comedy. Go for the laughs. Stay for the fun."


"Lucky Stiff" at University Theatre is directed by Jay Berkow, WMU professor of theatre. The all-student cast includes:

  • Patrick Hill as Vinnie
  • Derek Liavas as Harry Witherspoon
  • Dayna Palya as Dominique
  • Nate Reiders as The Body
  • Katie Snyder as Rita
  • Miggie Snyder as Annabel Glick
  • Maikel Ragel Wilson as Luigi
  • Ensemble: Meghan Corbett, Sebastiana Gullo, Jono Mammel, and Ryan Wagner
  • Swings: Jesús Barajas, Eathan Bingaman, Giavanna Haddock, and Molly Spiroff


Tickets are $23 general admission, $21 for seniors and WMU faculty and staff, $10 for students, and $6 for WMU students. They are available at, by calling (269) 387-6222, or by visiting the Gilmore Theatre box office between noon and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The Miller Auditorium box office also sells tickets to University Theatre productions.

For the full 2017-18 University Theatre season lineup, visit

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