What’s the easiest way to climb to the top of the business ladder? Go to see "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying" and you can learn all of the tricks of the trade from J. Pierrepont Finch. In Madison High School’s show of "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying" they showed that they truly know… how to succeed.
"How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying" is a musical written by Frank Loesser and adapted from the original book by the same name written in the 1950s. The musical follows the steps of a once window washer as he reads a book that dictates success. He receives a job at the World Wide Wicket Company and slowly climbs his way to the top. After the new 2011 revival, choosing the popular show was a risk, however Madison did not disappoint.
The show opened and a beautiful set met the audience’s eyes. The set appeared simple in concept, but was cleverly structured by Andrew Barat, Chris Chandler-Liu, and Morgan Miller, to incorporate a multi-level concept as well as three elevator appearances. It remained the backdrop for the entire show, and tied in well to every scene. It was practical and well constructed.
Daxx Wieser, who played J. Pierrepont, led Madsion’s production. Not only did Wieser sing phenomenal vocals and execute professional acting choices, but he also worked with Selena Garcia-DuBar to choreograph the show. He skillfully led the ensemble through simple, stylistic dance numbers that even showcased some of the original choreographer’s (Bob Fosse) dance moves. His precision and charisma captivated the audience; Wieser truly is a triple treat.
Along side Wieser acted Shannon Michelson, as Rosemary Pilkington. Her voice rang through the theater and her smile brightened the stage. Her feelings towards Pierrepont were very believable and added a comic side to the quirky relationship between Michelson and Wieser.
Not to be forgotten is the hilarious and beautiful, Samantha Ross, who played the role of Hedy LaRue. Her ability to make the audience love her character and envy her at the same time was outstanding. Acting alongside the boss, J. B. Biggley, played by Patrick Shaughnessy, the two created a comedic twist in the story line that kept the audience on their toes.
Although the show lacked energy at times, it was evident that the cast enjoyed their experience. During numbers like "Brotherhood of Men" the ensemble made it clear that they loved being on stage.
However, where would the cast be with no make-up or costumes? From the hair to the makeup to the costumes, the actors on stage truly resembled the 1950s. The costume team led by Shannon Finney, and the make-up team led by Sofia McKewen, truly absorbed the concepts of the ’50s and ensured that each individual had a unique look that didn’t escape the timeframe.
Over all, Madison High School showed that they really know how to succeed in musicals, without really trying.