The musical adaptation of Shepherd Mead’s 1952 satirical book of the same name is a delightfully irreverent and tuneful romp. It is a brilliantly clever examination of corporate ladder climbing, 1960’s office culture and the satire of self-help books laced with a little romance and much comedy.
Featuring a large cast of students from the Centennial High School Fine Arts department, this production of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying ran October 25-November 6 at The Hobby Center for the Performing Arts. The musical, with music and lyrics by Frank Loesser and a book by Abe Burrows, Jack Weinstock and Willie Gilbert, won the 1962 Tony Award for Best Musical and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. It also received a wide range of other accolades including the Grammy Award for Best Original Song and the 1962 Academy Award for Best Picture.
While it is sometimes difficult to get the right balance of singing and dancing with a large cast, the production was well-balanced and the songs were entertaining and enjoyable. This was also largely due to the exceptional vocals of the students involved, whose voices remained strong and stable throughout the two hours.
The production was also very visually appealing. The costumes, designed by Rose Pederson, were gorgeous and the set, created by Tom Sturge and David Summer, was stunning. The juxtaposition of the executives’ grey suits against the secretaries’ boldly colored dresses and a background that looked like a Piet Mondrain painting was a feast for the eyes.