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'How to Succeed in Business' still resonates 50 years later

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By Theresa Goffredo
Herald Writer
"How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying": There's probably no better time to poke fun at corporate America than right now, what with news of bailouts, the Occupy Wall Street movement and the out-of-control behavior of CEOs.
So laugh along with that adorable hero J. Pierrepont Finch as he climbs the corporate ladder to the penthouse level just by applying the principles of a "how to" book.
"How to Succeed in Business" delights with more than the absurdly hilarious world of business. The music and lyrics by Academy Award and Tony Award winner Frank Loesser provides great tunes such as "Brotherhood of Man," "The Company Way" and "I Believe in You."
The show's success continues to be celebrated as "How to Succeed" enjoys its 50th anniversary and enters its second year as a new Broadway musical, with Nick Jonas as Finch.
The Northwest Savoyards production stars James Frasca as Finch, Sabrina Otness as Rosemary and local theater favorite Michael McFadden as J. B. Biggley.
This show is a first-time collaboration with Northwest Savoyards and four other entities: Trinity Lutheran College, Pacific West Performing Arts, the Historic Everett Theatre and Red Curtain Foundation for the Arts.
"This show is very exciting for me: besides being the director, it is a coming-together of five local entities to help create something special for Snohomish County," said Scott Randall of Red Curtain Foundation. "To see these four organizations working together for one common goal is thrilling and really speaks volumes about the arts community in our county."
In the musical, young and ambitious window-washer Finch dreams of making it in big business. He finds a "how to" book and follows its advice to a successful journey to the top.
The book advises Finch that though being educated, intelligent and able is best, "remember that thousands have reached the top without them. You, too, can be among the lucky few."
"The play is set in the 1960s and reflects the values of the period with a tongue-in-cheek look at climbing the corporate ladder, a woman's place in the work environment and balancing work and home life," Randall said.
"How to Succeed" has musical direction by Josh Zimmerman, choreography by Kelly Charlton and is produced by Northwest Savoyards' Tim Sauke, who also did the scenic design.
"How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying" opens at 8 tonight at Historic Everett Theatre, 2911 Colby Ave., Everett. Shows are 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2:30 p.m. Sunday through April 1.
Tickets are $22 for adults and $19 for students, seniors and military. Group discounts available. Call the box office at 425-258-6766 or online at
Theresa Goffredo: 425-339-3424;
Story tags » TheaterEverett

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