GO UP THE CORPORATE LADDER MUSICALLY AT UCONN

 

BONNIE GOLDBERG

The art and science of getting ahead and rising quickly in the corporate world takes courage and ambition and J Pierrepont Finch has an abundance of both. He is also privy to the advice and counsel revealed in an indispensable book “How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying,” his Bible to reach his goals. Finch is eager to please and invites the public to come to witness his ascent, like Jacob, up to heaven as the Connecticut Repertory Theatre on the campus of the University of Connecticut does an executive special job with this Pulitzer Prize-winning musical “How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying” until Sunday, June 12. Credits for the show go to Abe Burrows, Jack Weinstock and Willie Gilbert for book and Frank Loesser for music and lyrics.

You can’t help but root for Riley Costello’s Finch as this personable and charismatic fellow starts in the mailroom of the World Wide Wicket Company and works his way to the large corporate office with the window view. Along the way to the top, he is lucky enough to attract the affection of a secretary and girl friend and soon to be wife Rosemary, played by the sweet and golden throated Sarah Schenkkan, as well as her office pal Smitty, a supportive Adria Swan, and the big boss’s gal Miss Jones, a super singing Tina Fabrique. Not everyone, however, is happy to boost Finch up a rung. His detractors include the sexually scheming Hedy LaRue, a delightfully single-minded Ariana Shore, and the boss’s devilishly conniving nephew Bud Frump, captured to perfection by Robert Fritz. The big man himself, J. B, Biggley, is none other than our old friend from “The Love Boat,” Fred Grandy, who tries to stop Finch along the way but ultimately can’t control either Finch and his charms or his girlfriend on the side, Ms. LaRue. Grandy is “grand."

Finch without moving too many muscles, is able to leap frog over Twimble in the mail room (Steven Hayes), Gatch in plants and systems (Chester Martin), as well as Bratt (John Bixler), Tackaberry (Ty Taylor) and Ovington (Dalton Bertolone). Along the way, gems of tunes like “The Company Way,” “Happy to Keep His Dinner Warm,” “I Believe in You,” "How to Succeed” and the show stopping “Brotherhood of Man”¬†bloom with triumph.

Vincent J. Cardinal directs this lively and energetic show, with Cassie Abate doing incredible choreography to keep the pace practically perfect. Others of note are the costumes by Christina Lorraine Bullard, the set designed by Tim Brown and the lighting by Michael Chybowski, that shines a spotlight on Finch whenever he cleverly makes his move.

For tickets ($12 to $55), call the CT Repertory Theatre at the Jorgensen Theatre on the campus of UCONN at Storrs at 860-486-2113 or online at www.crt.uconn.edu. Performances are Tuesday to Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.

Be sure to include a stop at the Dog Lane Cafe for lunch or dinner and leave room for ice cream at the UCONN Dairy Bar.

Come let this large, talented cast light up your summer fun with a visit with J. Pierrepont Finch as he magically ascends the staircase to his wildest dreams with the lovely Rosemary on his arm. Enjoy and believe in a large local cast as they have a lot of fun creating Finch’s amazing ascent up the corporate ladder in this Pulitzer Prize-winning Broadway musical.

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