Arts & Entertainment

Hanford High's mysterious musical

Hanford High is tackling the musical comedy The Lucky Stiff for its spring production, which opens May 7.

The Lucky Stiff is a murder mystery full of engaging music and farcical humor.

The music and lyrics were the first collaboration between composer Stephen Flaherty and lyricist Lynn Ahrens, who worked together again later and wrote Seussical and Once on this Island.

Like any good comedy, the mystery begins with a group of characters telling audience members they will need to stay sharp as there are plenty of plot twists. Then one of those characters, wearing dark glasses and silk pajamas, is murdered.

And so, as Sherlock Holmes might say, something is afoot.

The Lucky Stiff lead characters are composed of Hanford juniors Piper Jane Brown and Robin Coppock with Matt Leggett, Hanford drama teacher, directing.

The plot takes the audience to exotic places and introduces a flock of gangsters, taxidermists, optometrists, animal lovers, gamblers, nightclub singers, tour guides and dancing dogs.

As Leggett tells it, the story is about an English shoe salesman named Harry whose life is going nowhere. He feels trapped in his dead-end job and despairs of things ever changing. Then he receives a telegram that his American uncle has died and left him $6 million in diamonds.

The money is all his on one condition: He must take his uncle's corpse on one last vacation to Monte Carlo.

"The comic timing when mixed with music is very difficult," Leggett said. "Much more difficult than it looks. ... But the students are doing fine."

The play is suitable for the whole family.

Showtime is 7:30 p.m. Performances will be in the high school's auditorium on May 7-8 and 14-15. Admission is $10 for adults and $8 for students. Tickets at the door.

*Dori O'Neal: 582-1514;