By Adam Hetrick
15 May 2014
Book writer/lyricist Lynn Ahrens adapted the stage production for the screen, and she and composer Stephen Flaherty have written additional songs. The duo are Tony Award winners for Ragtime and are represented on Broadway this season with Rocky. The film is aiming for a 2015 release.
The film is directed by Christopher Ashley and has choreography by Joey Pizzi ("Burlesque"). In addition to Alexander ("Seinfeld," Jerome Robbins Broadway), the late Farina ("Get Shorty") and James (Les Misérables, The Book of Mormon), the cast features Dominic Marsh, Don Amendolia, Pamela Shaw, Kate Shindle, Jayne Houdyshell and Mary Birdsong, as well as appearances by Cheyenne Jackson, Jennifer Cody, Kevin Chamberlain, Wesley Taylor and more.
Marsh, according to a press statement, "portrays the hapless London bachelor, while James plays his romantic rival for the inheritance. Alexander plays a nerdy optometrist who's been sucked into the adventures by his impulsive near-sighted sister, portrayed by Pamela Shaw."
Lucky Stiff premiered at Playwrights Horizons in April 1988 and was the first show of future Tony Award winners Ahrens and Flaherty to be produced outside a family-theatre arena (they had collaborated on a Theatreworks USA musical for kids).
Ahrens penned book and lyrics, Flaherty the music, drawing on the Michael Butterworth novel "The Man Who Broke the Bank at Monte Carlo." Lucky Stiff was the recipient of a 1988 Richard Rodgers Production Award and 1990 Helen Hayes Award for Best Musical.