Friday, June 10, 2016

review - HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS WITHOUT REALLY TRYING - Don Bluth Front Row Theatre

Stephen Johnstun, Sonia Rodriguez Wood,and Katie Marburger
Photo by Heather Butcher

highlights from local critics reviews - (click link at bottom of each review to read complete review)

Click here for more information on this production that runs through July 2nd.

 "The fairly simple story of a young man and his rise up the corporate ladder, with all of the business politics and office romances that come along the way up his climb, is the focus of the 1961 Pulitzer Prize winning musical How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. Don Bluth Front Row Theatre's presentation of this comical gem is receiving a fairly sturdy production full of fun and frivolity...Cheryl Schaar's direction provides a crisp pace for the proceedings and she has a firm grasp on the satirical, and not serious, tone of the piece but also doesn't downplay any of the sexual shenanigans....As Finch, Stephen Johnstun has enough charm and likability to make the character completely endearing. Darryl Poenisch is funny with plenty of warmth as Biggley while Katie Marburger is full of determination as Rosemary, the secretary who falls for Finch...As far as vocals go, the female cast members are better than the men, including Johnstun whose vocals could be stronger. The women provide plenty of professional pizazz with Marburger and (Sonia Rodriquez) Wood especially bold and brassy in their musical numbers. There have also been some cuts to the show...which detract a bit, especially since the cuts give Finch less stage time. And since Finch is the main character, these cuts change the balance of the show and not exactly in a good way. The cast also misses some of the finer comical nuances of the script. Fortunately, Don Bluth, Frederick Alphonso and Kim Rodriguez's choreography is great, with varied movement and comical additions that make each musical number different... the costumes by Corinne Hawkins are stellar. While I have a few quibbles with this production, especially around the cuts that have been made...With a good cast and crisp direction, the end result is a fun-filled comedy that succeeds."  -Gil Benbrook, Talkin' Broadway (click here to read the complete review)

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