By Jacqueline Brown
For the Times-Post
Pendleton Players has announced the cast for its upcoming production of “How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying,” is scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 10, and Saturday, Nov. 11, and at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 12, in the Loran G. Skinner Auditorium at Pendleton Heights High School.
The show opened on Broadway in 1961 to almost unanimous raves from the critics. It won multiple Tony Awards, including Best Musical, as well as a New York Drama Critics Circle Award and a Pulitzer Prize for drama, only the fourth awarded to a musical.
With a book by Abe Burrows, Jack Weinstock and Willie Gilbert, and music and lyrics by Frank Loesser, this is a hysterical look at the world of big business. It is one of the classics of American musical Theatre and has been done in revival on Broadway at least three times, most recently starring Daniel Radcliff of Harry Potter fame.
This is the simple story of a young man, J. Pierrepont Finch, played by senior Jake Hardin, who climbs to a position of great power at the World Wide Wicket Co., and girlfriend Rosemary, played by senior Alaina Glover, who loyally hangs on during the climb.
In this wonderful musical satire on the Organization Man, his success is due neither to hard work nor any other ancient prescriptions for success. He gets ahead following the simple rules detailed in a book titled “How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying.”
Finch runs into many obstacles and overcomes them. There’s his rival (the boss’s nephew), played by Drew Wilson; the mailroom trap, with the head of the mailroom played by Alex Hardin; the office wolf, played by Nathan Simpson; the office party; the dangerous secretary, played by Abby Davis; the board meeting; jealous executives; and, of course, the big boss himself, played by Charlton Westbrook.
From the first coffee break to the last elevator load on Friday night, office life is never the same once “Ponty” Finch settles in for the trip to the top.
The cast also includes the chairman of the board, Wally Womper, played by Isaac Reddington; the head of personnel, played by Parker Smith, and other executives Connor Jamison, Anakin Allison, Roger Gibson, Alex Sabotnik, Chayse Immel, Juan Garcia and Bryson Johnson. Company policeman Bryce Hatfield tries to keep the building secure, and the company hires a new advertising man, Benjamin Burton Daniel Ovington, played by Luke Robinson, who falls victim to the corporate world and is fired for going to the wrong college, the rival college of Mr. Biggley.
The secretaries are represented by Bailey Miles as Miss Jones, Mr. Biggley’s secretary, who brings down the house in the finale of the show.
Bayla French plays Rosemary’s sidekick and confidante, Smitty, and Keyona Ashé plays Miss Krumholtz. The secretarial pool is also filled with girl who keep the company running behind the scenes and includes Lexy Alverson, Chloe Boots, Skye Fuller, Emily Harless, Katherine Jarrell, Chloe Kincade, Asia Mitchem, Kyndall Sagarsee, Jaden Precup, Macin Precup and Addi Rust. The cleaning women add a humorous touch as well and are played by Cloey Griffin and Marian Case; Sam Sherman plays a TV announcer.
Rounding out the cast are a group of talented ensemble members, includiong Mariel Claxon, Joel Gaar, Lilly Garard, Anabelle Johnson, Gretchen Brumbaugh, Lilly Burkhart, Dawson Garner, Brookelynne George, Delaney Gillespie, Miranda Gust, Matilde Henriksen, Audrey Hosier, Nicole Jones, Katie Martin, Emma McKinney, Quinn Miles, Lyric Miller, Genna Neeley, Samara Renner and Vincent Spear.
The music fills the show with a number of great production numbers, which include “Coffee Break,” “Company Way,” “A Secretary is Not A Toy,” “I Believe In You” and “Brotherhood of Man.”
The musical director, Jim McGee, has been working with a group of talented community musicians as well as a couple of high school musicians to create the orchestra in the pit. He also has worked with the vocalists in refining their numbers.
As artistic and technical director, I am coordinating the production and working with Technical Theatre Class students and SPOTS (Supportive People of Theatre Students) in building a massive corporate building set and prop pieces.
I have a large group of students assisting backstage with the technical elements of the show, including lights, sound, props, costumes, hair and makeup.
All high school productions are run by the students to help give them training and experience working and running shows. The crew for the show in all the varying capacities includes: Jacob Wilson, Quinlan Huntzinger, Chloe Kincade, Elijah Bauer, Jacob Porter, Addison Magers, Cameron Huffman, Mia Meiers, Delaney Konopa, Evelyn Garard, Katelyn Surber, Logan Marshall, William Davidson, Kaylee Granger, Michael Palmer, Anna Bettner, Sophie Fonacier, Katelyn Ferge, Lacie Parvis, Leah Manges, Anna Childers, Larissa Partlow, Madison Harmon, Lindsey Butler, Zoe Bruggemeier, Brennan Wrin, Ashley Ritchie, Elijah Gibson, Macie Collett, Zoe Korbe, Raegan Hauck, Kenya Jones, Sarah Slaven, Adelynn Jessup, Grace Smith and Alexis Givens.
People interested in purchasing tickets to the show can buy them at pendletonplayers.com until the first performance day. Then all tickets must be purchased at the box office one hour prior to curtain.
The cost for tickets is $10 for adults and $7 for people 18 and younger. Credit and debit cards are not accepted at the box office, but they can be used to purchase tickets and seats online.
Pendleton Players will present a spring production of “Grease” on April 13, 14 and 15 with a special encore in one of the scenes by members of the original cast of 20 years ago, who will join the high school cast.
The Pendleton Players are trying to contact members of the original cast who might be interested in participating.
Brown is the director of Loran G. Skinner Auditorium/Theatre Program at Pendleton Heights High School.