A Night at the Theater: Lucky Streak

Lucky Streak musical

“Lucky Streak” showcases Vicki Vodrey’s growth as a playwright and features some impressive rearrangements of Barry Manilow tunes. (Photo courtesy of Lot in Life Productions)

By: Jacob Elyachar

The 2013 Kansas City Fringe Festival is here!

Each year, the Indie Arts and Culture event bring in artists, fashion designers and playwrights from around the Midwest to showcase the best in rising talent.

One playwright that I admire is Vicki Vodrey.

I had the pleasure of meeting her at the 2012 Project Playwright event and fell in love with her dark comedy pieces, which include her 2012 hit play Thank You Notes: Headed to Heaven with Flat Jimmy Fallon.  

This year, Ms. Vodrey went out of her comfort zone and delivered a 90-minute musical: Lucky Streak.

Lucky Streak follows an Arkansas country singer named Joey (Jeff Smith), who has been burnt out by small town life and decides to move to the Big Apple.

He crashes with his longtime friend, Chris (Sean Hogge), who had a rough upbringing in Arkansas that has led him down a path of becoming an abusive alcoholic and struggling musician.   Chris’s main target of abuse is his girlfriend, Benedetta “Bennie” (Mandy Mook), who volunteers at a domestic abuse center.

Throughout the show, Joey falls in love with Bennie and as his career grows, his lust for Bennie increases and his tension towards his roommate and band member expands.

What makes this musical interesting is that it not only weaves some of Barry Manilow’s classic hits including “It’s A Miracle,” “New York City Rhythm” and “I Made It Through the Rain,” it also has a five-piece band that includes Hogge on guitar, Kevin Payton on bass, Tim Braselton on keyboards, Jared Rivers on drums and Kelly Payton on the violin.

The quintet not only successfully rearranged Manilow’s tunes, but also moonlighted as characters in the play.

Vodrey’s script showcased a number of strong moments for the main actors and contained numerous zingers that were peppered throughout the show that made the audience chuckle.

The only problem that this musical encountered was at times the actors were off-pitch.

Final thoughts and grade: I am always impressed when creators step out of their comfort zone and take a risk to expand their career.   Vodrey is one playwright that continues to diversify and deliver pieces that make audiences laugh and think.  B+

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Copyright 2020 Jacob Elyachar