Ripon College presenting musical

A revival of the great Broadway classic musical, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, will be presented by the Ripon College music and theatre departments Nov. 11 through 14. Performances will be at 7:30 each evening in the Benstead Theatre, C.J. Rodman Center for the Arts, on the Ripon College campus. Tickets are free, but reservations are recommended and may be made by calling 748-8791.

The 1961 Broadway version of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying and its revivals in 1995 and 2011 won nine Tony Awards and were nominated for 11. How to Succeed even won the Pulitzer Prize in 1962.

Why is the play, firmly set in the world of the early 1960s, so perennially popular? Certainly the office politics and social roles that it so delightfully skewers have changed in the past 50 years, but they haven’t changed as much as people think. The television viewers who flock to the reality game shows like The Apprentice or The Bachelorette are watching contestants not that far removed from the characters in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.

The images of these modern game shows are reflected in this classic musical. Composer Frank Loesser and playwright Abe Burrows are satirizing the corporate world, the sexism of the 60s, and the struggle to succeed. How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying is a musical filled with wonderful tunes, clever lyrics and comic types.

The large cast features Owen Reynolds ’18 of Wales, Wisconsin, as Ponty Finch; JaneMarie Erikson ’16 of Redgranite, Wisconsin, as Rosemary; James Balistreri ’19 of Plymouth, Wisconsin, as Bud Frump; Brennan Kane ’17 of Ramsey, Minnesota, as Mr. Biggley; and Stephanie Nilsen ’18 of Waukesha, Wisconsin, as Hedy LaRue. Ken Hill, professor of theatre, is the director; and Kurt Dietrich, professor of music and Barbara Baldwin de Frees chair in the performing arts, is the musical director.


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