Director Kevin Neuharth is kicking off the 47th Minot State University Summer Theatre season with "Lucky Stiff," a musical farce based on the book "The Man who Broke the Bank in Monte Carlo" by Michael Butterworth.
"This was Ahrens and Flaherty's first collaboration," said Neuharth. "It's part film noir, part 'Weekend at Bernie's' and part murder mystery. Someone gets killed in the first few seconds of the show."
Chris Pitner, who just graduated from high school, takes the role of "Body of Tony Hendon," and is maneuvered not only around the stage, but all the way from England to Monte Carlo. Neuharth said the show concerns a $6 million inheritance which is restricted by the will to a nephew - a nephew who has to fulfill a dying wish by Uncle Tony to be taken to Monte Carlo.
The set only hints at the many locations needed, and the costumes range from glitzy showgirl to drab London landlady.
"There's a bizarre dream sequence, too," he said. "There's a mess of activity - you blink, you miss something. It's just crazy, silly fun."
There are 12 people in the cast, some double-cast, and most well known to Minot audiences.
"Amanda Lindstrom is coming back after a few years off," said Neuharth. "She's a gas to work with. And Cassie Toavs hasn't been in a show with us in the Summer Theatre, although she's a music student (at MSU)."
The performance musicians are under the direction of Jeri Langemo, whose daughter Katie is one of the leads. Brett Olson plays opposite Katie Langemo, with Chris Stroschein and CJ Leigh also having featured roles.
Identified only as "Man One" is Cody Blotter, who doubles as "Lorry Driver" and "Nun," among other parts. "Man Two" is Jason Gaarder and "Man Three" is Daniel Johnson, having similar multiple personalities. Likewise in several guises are Peggy Morris, Brittany Knickerbocker and Toavs as "Woman One," "Two" and "Three."
The stage manager is Josh Snyder, assisted by summer intern Brenna Heupel.
"Lucky Stiff" runs from June 12-17, with each show beginning at 8:30 p.m. The box office opens an hour before. Prices are $8 for adults, $7 for seniors and students, $5 for students 12 and under, and $3 for MSU students, faculty and staff with current ID.
The Friday performance of each of the four shows in the season is military appreciation night, with a discount sponsored by Northern Tier Federal Credit Union for those with military IDs.
For reservations or more information, call 858-3228.