Music & lyrics by Frank Loesser
Book by Abe Burrows, Jack Weinstock & Willie Gilbert
Based on the novel by Shepherd Mead
NODA Review by Frank Wooles
Ambitious, young New York City window cleaner J Pierrepont Finch, determines to achieve advancement and success through the advice given in a self-help book ‘How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying’. He ‘bumps’ into the president of the World Wide Wicket Company, and with the help of the ‘book-voice’ starts his journey from mailroom up the executive ladder with charm and confidence – with the emphasis on the ‘con’. With a warm, likeable personality and a lot of talent, Simon Riordan deftly played Finch, with a lovely all-round performance by Ellie Hoare, as Rosemary, the secretary who be friends him. Postal Clerk Bud Frump (Andrew Hopkins), nepotistic nephew of the irascible President JB Biggley (Neil Davies), vampish Hedy LaRue (Helen Stubbs), personnel manager Mr Bratt (Richard Thomas), Rosemary’s friend Smitty (Claire Couldridge) and head of post Mr Twimble (Howard Turnbull), were but a few of the fine cast assembled for this slick American musical.
Janet Holloway perfectly understood the genre of ‘How to Succeed….’ and the pace and style required to deliver an innovative production that was sharp and slick and will be remembered as the cubist musical with the entire company required to create fifteen scenes from some thirty cubes. A logistic nightmare and a production on its own.
Impressive choreography by Richard Thomas, with exhausting routines performed with polish and precision by an energetic, good-sounding ensemble. And an accolade for the toe-tapping playing of the band under the baton of Dave Thompson. How to Succeed – Concept certainly know how.
Originally published Spring 2011