Climbing the corporate ladder is a difficult, arduous path that only the tenacious can thrive on, or so you thought. Briarcliff High School’s production of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying truly brought to life Frank Loesser’s timeless tale in which the young and hopeful J. Pierrepont Finch (portrayed by Jack Mcgranaghan) is able to grow from a measly mailroom employee to the esteemed Chairman of the Board of the World Wide Wicket Company in a mere seven days.
The show opens with Finch heeding the advice of a book he has recently acquired which outlines each step he must take to make it to the top. Finch’s perceived vehicle of success
is the World Wide WicketCompany, prompting him to immediately seek employment there. As he ascends the various ranks and departments of the company, he encounters some colorful characters, including J.B. Biggley (portrayed by Henry Ross), Bud Frump (Tucker Poux), and Rosemary Pilkington (Julianna Brown), while exploring his own identity and finding love. The 22 songs performed along the way enhanced and accented the experience, allowing for the audience to observe and connect with the emotions each character was feeling.
The set was beautifully done. It consisted of a versatile center stage which functioned as a mailroom, countless different offices, and a workplace for secretaries. Three-tiers were also constructed to allow for some division of the open center. A door on each side of the stage served the purpose of an elevator, bathroom, and access to other offices throughout the show.
Beyond the show’s satirical and humorous nature, there also lay a more serious and relevant discussion: sexual harassment. This is highlighted in the role of the secretaries within the company. They face sexism from their superiors and are rigidly locked into their current position without any opportunity to ascend the corporate ladder as Finch did. As sexism is unfortunately a perpetual issue, this contributes the play’s lasting relevance. Productions of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying actually are a means by which to raise awareness.
The cast and crew of this year’s musical faced delay after delay caused by recent extreme weather and uncontrollable circumstances; however, they managed to persist and put on a great performance!