“How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying,” a Pulitzer Prize-winning musical, will be presented by the East Central University Theatre Department at 7:30 p.m.Feb. 15-17 in the Ataloa Theatre of the Hallie Brown Ford Fine Arts Center.
Based on Shepherd Mead’s 1952 book, the musical opened in October 1961 and was the winner of seven Tony Awards, a New York Drama Critics Award and the 1962 Pulitzer Prize. It starred Robert Morse and Rudy Vallee, who reprised their roles in the 1967 film.
Recent revivals included Matthew Broderick in 1995 and Daniel “Harry Potter” Radcliffe in 2011, winning Tony Awards for best revival, best director/choreographer and featured actor in a musical by John Larroquette.
The ECU production is being directed by Dr. Richard Groetzinger, with musical direction by Vickie Reifsnider and choreography from ECU student Ashley Houchin. Set design comes from Jamie Davis. Rudy Lupinski provides musical direction as well as rehearsal accompaniment, and Allen Correll conducts the orchestra. ECU President Emeritus John Hargrave will provide the voice of The Book.
“How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” tells the story of the meteoric rise of J. Pierrepont Finch from window washer to chairman of the board of World Wide Wickets. Along the way, he defeats the evil machinations of Bud Frump, the boss’ nephew, avoids the perils of the boss’ mistress, Hedy LaRue, and finds love with secretary Rosemary Pilkington.
The musical is best known for the songs “Brotherhood of Man” and “I Believe in You,” Other featured songs include: “Coffee Break,” “Love from a Heart of Gold,” “A Secretary is Not a Toy,” “Paris Original” and “Cinderella Darling.”
Keegan Buckaloo, of Sallisaw, will play the part of J. Pierrepont Finch. Philip Newcomer, of Ada, appears as Bud Frump; Trey Shofner, of Ada, plays J.B. Biggley; Teresa White, of Ada, plays Rosemary; Cassidy Malm, of Noble, appears as Smitty; Nicole Erwin, of Ada, plays Miss Jones; Leah Whiten, of Davis, appears as Hedy LaRue; Malik Sharp, of Ada, appears as Twimble, Toynbee and the TV Announcer; Jamie Davis is Wally Womper; Juan Oseguera, of Ada, plays Mr. Bratt; Andrew O’Neal, of Ardmore, plays Mr. Gatch and the Bible Man; Tyler Whitney, of Oklahoma City, appears as Jenkins; Eddie Power is Peterson; and Jace Westmoland, of Ada, appears as Tackaberry.
Also, Amanda Daniel, of Ada, plays Johnson; Zach Fowler appears as Matthews and Ovington; Phoebe Perkins, of Shawnee, plays Davis; Zach Smith appears as the Mailroom Clerk and Pete; Shelby Stinson, of Poteau, plays Miss Krumholtz; Aimee Jones, of McAlester, appears as First Scrubwoman and Secretary; and Tabitha Carr, of Winnsboro, Texas, plays the Second Scrubwoman and Secretary.
Other Secretaries include: Taylor Packwood, of Shawnee; Allie Bush; Isabella Roan, of Garland, Texas; Summer Pearce, of Glenpool; Ashton Mayle, of Eufaula; and Houchin.
The Jolly Wickets and Wickettes include: Houchin, Packwood, Carr, Sharp and Whitney.
Tickets are $10 for adults, $9 for senior citizens and non-ECU students, $7 for grades 7-12 and $5 for children 12 and under. ECU alumni receive a $1 discount. Admission is free for ECU students, faculty and staff with identification.