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Friday, July 19, 2013

A Comical Musical Manual

Sunset presents ‘How to Succeed in Business’

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Shepherd Mead worked as a mailroom clerk at an advertising agency. In the course of an eventful several years, he became vice president of the company. Mead spoofed his success story in his 1952 parody of traditional instructional manuals, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying: The Dastard’s Guide to Fame and Fortune. The book was a big hit. So big that it was turned into a musical in 1961.

There isn’t a whole lot of precedence for satirical instructional manuals becoming Broadway hits. Perhaps the single most remarkable thing is that How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying continues to be a success half a century after it debuted. The general public has long since forgotten the book. The musical lives on.

The adaptation of Mead’s humorous manual makes its latest local appearance onstage in Elm Grove. Thomas Lueck directs a production of the musical featuring recent UW-Steven’s Point BFA acting graduate Jake Konrath as J. Pierrepont Finch, a window cleaner dreaming of success at the World Wide Wicket Company.

Sunset Playhouse’s production of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying runs July 18-Aug. 11 at the Furlan Auditorium, 800 Elm Grove Road. For tickets, call 262-782-4430 or visit sunsetplayhouse.com.

 

Theatre Happenings

Greendale Community Theatre stages an ambitious production of Les Misérables, July 25-Aug. 3 at Greendale High School Auditorium, 6801 Southway. For tickets, call 414-423-2700 (ext.4193) or visit greendaletheater.org.

 

Watch people make fun of Shakespeare in a park next week as SummerStage of Delafield presents The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) July 25-Aug. 3 at Lapham Peak State Park, one mile south of I-94 on Highway C. For tickets, call 262-337-1560 or visit summerstageofdelafield.org.

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