Jamaica Plain actor Benjamin Medeiros has the difficult role of Tony Hendon in "Lucky Stiff" -- because he’s playing a dead character.
"Lucky Stiff" is the Walpole Footlighters final production of the 2017-2018 season that opens May 4th. It's about nebbishy British shoe store clerk Harry Witherspoon, whose life is going nowhere until he learns that an American uncle he’s never met has left him $6,000,000 worth of diamonds.
There’s only one catch – the terms of Tony Hendon’s will require Harry to take his uncle’s corpse to Monte Carlo for a weekend and show him the town before collecting the inheritance. If Harry doesn’t get the job done, the diamonds will go to Uncle Tony’s favorite charity, the Universal Dog Home of Brooklyn.
As if maneuvering a corpse through Monte Carlo and passing it off as his living uncle isn’t hard enough, Harry’s weekend is made more complicated by Annabel Glick of the Universal Dog Home. She’s dogging Harry’s every step to claim the diamonds if he messes up. And of course, Uncle Tony’s mistress Rita La Porta is also hounding Harry, claiming Uncle Tony promised her the diamonds, and she’s got a gun to back up her claim. Add in mistaken identities, snooty French waiters, drunken hotel maids, some singing and dancing, and you’ve got this musical farce.
Medeiros last appearance with the Footlighters was as the lead in 2010’s "King of Hearts," but he’s found playing dead is just as challenging than playing the lead. Said Medeiros, “I don’t have any lines, but I also can’t react to any of the craziness going on around me. If someone pushes my wheelchair the wrong way, or tips it over by mistake, what can I do? Nothing, I’m dead! It’s really an acting challenge.”
Performances of "Lucky Stiff" will be given at the Footlighters Playhouse, 2 Scout Road, Walpole on May 4, 5, 11, 12, 18, and 19 at 8 pm. There will also be matinee performances on May 6 and 20 at 2 pm. For more information check out footlighters.com.