Shows H

HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS WITHOUT REALLY TRYING (Music and Lyrics by Frank Loesser: Book by Abe Burrows, Jack Weinstock and Willie Gilbert: Based on the novel by Shepherd Mead) Produced at the 46th Street Theatre, New York, 14 October 1961 with Robert Morse (Finch), Rudy Vallee (Biggley), Bonnie Scott (Rosemary), Charles Nelson Reilly (Frump) and Virginia Martin (Hedy). Produced at the Shaftesbury Theatre, London, 28 March 1963 with Warren Berlinger, Billy de Wolfe, Patricia Michael, David Knight and Eileen Gourlay. Produced at the Theatre de Paris, Paris as Comment Reussir Dans les Affairs Sans Vraiment Se Fatiguer 1964 in an adaptation by Raymond Castans with Jacques Duby, Andre Luguet, Evelyne Dandry, Jean-Pierre Rambal and Arlette Didier. Revived in October 1994 at the La Jolla Playhouse, La Jolla, California and opening in March, 1995 at the Richard Rogers Theatre starring Matthew Broderick with Megan Mullally, Jeff Blumenkrantz, Jonathan Freeman, Victoria Clark, Luba Mason, Gerry Vichi, Lillias White and Ronn Carroll with Walter Cronkite as the Voice of the Narrator. A film version was produced by United Artists in 1967 with Morse, Vallee, Michele Lee, Anthony Teague and Maureen Arthur. SYNOPSIS This satire on 'big business' tells the story of a young man who finds there is 'room at the top' and with the help of a book of simple instructions manages to get there accompanied by his ever-faithful girl whose love for him triumphs over commercialism. Received with great critical acclaim and a Pulitzer Prize winner. STORY Act I Our hero, J. PIERREPONT FINCH, is discovered washing the windows of the World Wide Wicket Company, more engrossed in the book he is reading than the task in hand. While the cradle carrying him descends. the BOOK VOICE encourages him to start his upward climb with the aid of a few simple rules. Inside the building, he gas off to an inauspicious start by knocking over J.B. BIGGLEY, the President - J.B. to his enemies (he has no friends). Turning this encounter to his advantage and encouraged by ROSEMARY, a delectable young secretary who is smitten at first sight, Finch insinuates himself into the office of the Personnel Manager, BRATT, and thence to a job in the mail room. There he is made unwelcome by J.B.'s nephew - the odious BUD FRUMP, who has a lot of ambition and little talent for work - but impresses the mail room head, the conscientious and long-serving MR. TWIMBLE (THE COMPANY WAY). Our hero is not destined to spend long at such lowly levels and, quickly learning the book rules, by-passes the head of the mail-room job to become a junior executive under GATCH, Head of Plans and Systems. The mature MISS JONES, J.B.'s secretary, comes under Finch's spell and lets slip some useful information on J.B.'s background which gives more power to his elbow. The arrival of J.B.'s cutie-pie, ex-night-club cigarette girl HEDY LA RUE, intent on improving her career (A SECRETARY IS NOT A TOY), provides Finch with an opportunity to depose the lady-killer Gatch. While Frump tries all ways to trip him and Rosemary all ways to ensnare him (IT'S BEEN A LONG DAY), Finch rapidly climbs the ladder, The end of Act I finds him engaged to Rosemary and appointed VicePresident In Charge Of Advertising - which, as the Book Voice points out, is a dangerous place to be.