THEATER | DANCE | CLASSICAL MUSIC | OPERA | COMEDY

NORTH TEXAS PERFORMING ARTS NEWS

REVIEWS

\"How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying\"

Review: How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying | Garland Summer Musicals | Patty Granville Arts Center


Big Business

At Garland Summer Musicals, How to Succeed moves up the entertainment ladder, quickly.



published Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Ever wonder how to succeed in show business by trying really hard? Garland Summer Musicals does it the company way.

Producer Patty Granville and director Buff Shurr blend seasoned pros with live-wire collegians to create an ensemble that consistently delivers the goods in that vehicle that is so difficult for regional playhouses: the big musical. Garland's latest success story is How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, a 51-year-old classic brought to vibrant young life on the Granville Arts Center stage.

Any production of this show turns on the portrayal of J. Pierrepont Finch, the ambitious young sharpie determined to rise from entry level drone to executive in record time at World Wide Wickets, Inc. His handbook for success is How to Succeed…, Shepherd Mead's 1950s satire of big business. Robert Morse was the original Broadway Finch, and he repeated his performance in the movie version six years later. Subsequent Broadway revivals have starred Matthew Broderick, Daniel Radcliffe and Nick Jonas as Finch.

In the GSM edition, Carl DeForrest Hendin plays Finch as if the role were created for him. A better singer than Morse, he bends a legit tenor voice around Frank Loesser gems such as "I Believe in You" and "Rosemary." And he captures perfectly the impish charm of the calculating schemer. His best running gag is a beatific grin flashed at the audience and blessed by lighting designer Susan A. White with a halo-like effect.

Erica Harte is a vivacious seller of songs as Rosemary, the secretary smitten by Finch. She would be "Happy to Keep His Dinner Warm" while he scales the corporate ladder. Harte's acting prowess is as vital as her vocal strengths.

James Williams, a Garland audience favorite who is equally adept with drama or comedy, goes the latter route here as J.B. Biggley, the pompous president of World Wide Wickets. He and Hendin team up with glorious success on "Grand Old Ivy." Hayley Ewerz, as the bimbette who is J.B.'s girlfriend, gives the standard vamp caricature a little extra pizzaz. She and the female dance ensemble are just cheesy enough on "Yo Ho Ho." 

Daniel Saroni, recalled fondly as a suave and limber Rum Tum Tugger last season in Cats, recycles many of the same loose-limbed maneuvers this time in a terrific portrayal of Bud Frump, the insufferable nephew of the boss.

Randy Pearlman sparkles as Twimble, the mail room chief who lives his life the "Company Way," a terrific number that features Hendin and, in a cute reprise, Saroni. Per tradition, Pearlman also plays Mr. Womper, the board chairman of WWW. He and Hendin lead a platoon of castmates on "Brotherhood of Man." Choreographer Kelly McCain hits a home run here, working magic with an array of physical sizes and shapes and dance abilities.

Jennifer Randolph and Stephanie Felton score comic points as alpha female secretary types. Neill Rogers, meanwhile, reminds male workers that "A Secretary Is Not a Toy."

Terry McEnroe sheds his South Pacific tattoos for a brief but memorable sketch of the doomed advertising director. And Mitch Carr's voice dispenses droll advice from the Mead book.

Kelly Cox's scenic design is more functional than visually appealing. (The executive suites are a bit spartan.) The costumes of Michael Robinson and Suzi Shankle are '60s spiffy ─ diverse standouts being the identical "Paris Original" cocktail dresses worn by the entire female ensemble; and the gawd-awful sport coat bravely worn by Ron Biancardi as a TV announcer.

Musical director Mark Mullino and a dozen-member orchestra have a winning way with the Loesser score, despite overpowering the vocalists in a couple of choruses. Thanks For Reading





Dates, Prices, & Other Details

View the Article Slideshow

Comment on this Article

Share this article on Social Media
Click or Swipe to close
Big Business
At Garland Summer Musicals, How to Succeed moves up the entertainment ladder, quickly.
by Perry Stewart

Share this article on Facebook
Tweet this article
Share this article on Google+
Share this article via email
CCBT Snowflakes Watertower Theatre John Fade Uptown Players UNT Dance and Theatre Open Classicial Plaid Tidings Dallas Opera Dallas Opera
Reliant Lights
CCBT Snowflakes Watertower Theatre John Fade Uptown Players UNT Dance and Theatre Open Classicial Plaid Tidings Dallas Opera Dallas Opera
Reliant Lights
CCBT Snowflakes Watertower Theatre John Fade Uptown Players UNT Dance and Theatre Open Classicial Plaid Tidings Dallas Opera Dallas Opera
Reliant Lights
CCBT Snowflakes Watertower Theatre John Fade Uptown Players UNT Dance and Theatre Open Classicial Plaid Tidings Dallas Opera Dallas Opera
Reliant Lights
CCBT Snowflakes Watertower Theatre John Fade Uptown Players UNT Dance and Theatre Open Classicial Plaid Tidings Dallas Opera Dallas Opera
Reliant Lights
CCBT Snowflakes Watertower Theatre John Fade Uptown Players UNT Dance and Theatre Open Classicial Plaid Tidings Dallas Opera Dallas Opera
Reliant Lights
CCBT Snowflakes Watertower Theatre John Fade Uptown Players UNT Dance and Theatre Open Classicial Plaid Tidings Dallas Opera Dallas Opera
Reliant Lights
CCBT Snowflakes Watertower Theatre John Fade Uptown Players UNT Dance and Theatre Open Classicial Plaid Tidings Dallas Opera Dallas Opera
Reliant Lights
CCBT Snowflakes Watertower Theatre John Fade Uptown Players UNT Dance and Theatre Open Classicial Plaid Tidings Dallas Opera Dallas Opera
Reliant Lights
CCBT Snowflakes Watertower Theatre John Fade Uptown Players UNT Dance and Theatre Open Classicial Plaid Tidings Dallas Opera Dallas Opera
Reliant Lights
CCBT Snowflakes Watertower Theatre John Fade Uptown Players UNT Dance and Theatre Open Classicial Plaid Tidings Dallas Opera Dallas Opera
Reliant Lights
CCBT Snowflakes Watertower Theatre John Fade Uptown Players UNT Dance and Theatre Open Classicial Plaid Tidings Dallas Opera Dallas Opera
Reliant Lights
CCBT Snowflakes Watertower Theatre John Fade Uptown Players UNT Dance and Theatre Open Classicial Plaid Tidings Dallas Opera Dallas Opera
Reliant Lights
CCBT Snowflakes Watertower Theatre John Fade Uptown Players UNT Dance and Theatre Open Classicial Plaid Tidings Dallas Opera Dallas Opera
Reliant Lights
CCBT Snowflakes Watertower Theatre John Fade Uptown Players UNT Dance and Theatre Open Classicial Plaid Tidings Dallas Opera Dallas Opera
Reliant Lights
CCBT Snowflakes Watertower Theatre John Fade Uptown Players UNT Dance and Theatre Open Classicial Plaid Tidings Dallas Opera Dallas Opera
Reliant Lights
CCBT Snowflakes Watertower Theatre John Fade Uptown Players UNT Dance and Theatre Open Classicial Plaid Tidings Dallas Opera Dallas Opera
Reliant Lights
CCBT Snowflakes Watertower Theatre John Fade Uptown Players UNT Dance and Theatre Open Classicial Plaid Tidings Dallas Opera Dallas Opera
Reliant Lights
CCBT Snowflakes Watertower Theatre John Fade Uptown Players UNT Dance and Theatre Open Classicial Plaid Tidings Dallas Opera Dallas Opera
Reliant Lights
CCBT Snowflakes Watertower Theatre John Fade Uptown Players UNT Dance and Theatre Open Classicial Plaid Tidings Dallas Opera Dallas Opera
Reliant Lights
Click or Swipe to close
reviews
views on theater, dance, classical music, opera and comedy performances
news & notes
reports from the local performing arts scene
features & interviews
who and what are moving and shaking in the performing arts scene
season announcements
keep up with the arts groups' upcoming seasons
audiocasts
listen to interviews with people in the local performing arts scene
media reviews
reviews and stories on performing arts-related film, TV, recordings and books
arts organizations
learn more about the local producing and presenting arts groups
performance venues
learn more about the theaters and spaces where the arts happen
contests
keep up with fabulous ticket giveaways and other promotions
crowdfunding
connect to local arts crowdfunding campaigns
studio
post or view auditions and performing arts-related classes, services, jobs and more
about us
info on TheaterJones, our staff, what we do and how to contact us
Click or Swipe to close
First Name:
Last Name:
Date of Birth:
ZIP Code:
Your Email Address:
Click or Swipe to close
Join TheaterJones Around the Web



Follow Us on Twitter

Subscribe to our Youtube Channel

Click or Swipe to close
Search the TheaterJones Archives
Use any or all of the options below to search through all of reviews, interviews, features and special sections. If you are looking for a an event, use the calendar section of this website. This search will not search through the calendar.
Article Title Search:


Description Search:
TheaterJones Contributor:


TheaterJones Section:


Category:
Showing on or after:      Showing on or before:  
Search
Click or Swipe to close
We welcome your comments

I am discussing:  



Your Name:
Your Email Adress:


please enter the text below and then click or tap SUBMIT :
Submit