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The tru-ish life, death and afterlife of Elmer McCurdy:

 The Bandit Who Wouldn't Give Up

Winner: Music Theater of Madison (WI)!
Caleb Reese Festival Finalist!!

There are stories about people living.  There are stories about people after they die.  But DUMB LUCK tells the unlikely, but true, story of the life and afterlife of poor Elmer McCurdy, a small-time Old West outlaw.  Despite his love for LuluMae and a promise to do right be her, Elmer embarks on a highly unsuccessful career as an outlaw until he's shot by a sheriff’s posse in 1911.  


Elmer’s body is “preserved” by a funeral director in Oklahoma -- becoming a local tourist attraction.  As a result, Elmer can’t move on from Limbo to his final destination until his body has been properly buried.   For another 66 years, Elmer’s body is a fixture of carnival sideshows, movies and road races.  In 1976, the crew of “The Six Million Dollar Man” discovers Elmer’s body in the Laff in the Dark funhouse in a California amusement park and the LA coroner uncovers Elmer’s amazing post-death journey.  Due to the publicity, the people of Guthrie, Oklahoma, pay to have Elmer transported and buried in the Boot Hill section of their cemetery in 1977.


But, will Elmer’s burial be in time to re-unite him with LuluMae, who has scorned him for his deeds?  Can love triumph decades after a person's death?

Read about the real Elmer McCurdy here.

Listen to music from the show here.

For more information, contact or

"People Just Loved the show"

Meghan Randolph, Executive Director, Music Theatre of Madison

Sheldon Harnick (yeah — that guy!) said of "Right Amount of Wrong":     "That's a delightful song. It would probably get an encore. You're a very gifted songwriter." 

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