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Généralités: Histoire, thèmes et particularités

Résumé

Finch is a window washer who finds a book called "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying," which he uses to get a job at World Wide Wickets and move up in the company. Frump, a co-worker he left behind on the way up, tries to sabotage Finch as he gets higher and higher in the organization, but in the end Finch is forced to make a few choices without the help of his book.

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Historique du musical

Génèse du musical

In 1952, Shepherd Mead's satirical book, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, became a bestseller. Playwright Willie Gilbert and fellow playwright Jack Weinstock created a dramatic interpretation in 1955 that was unproduced for five years. Agent Abe Newborn brought the work to the attention of producers Cy Feuer and Ernest Martin, with the intention of retooling it as a musical. Feuer and Martin had great success with the 1950 adaptation of Guys and Dolls and brought in the creative team from that show to work on How to.... Abe Burrows and Frank Loesser set to work on the new adaptation, with rehearsals beginning in August 1961. Burrows collaborated on the book with Jack Weinstock and Willie Gilbert, also serving as director. Their new adaptation became even more satirical and added romance to the story. Loesser wrote both music and lyrics for the show, which was orchestrated by Robert Ginzler.

The original Broadway production credited the choreography to an obscure dance director named Hugh Lambert, while the much better-known Bob Fosse received only a "musical staging by..." credit. Abe Burrows explains this in his autobiography Honest, Abe. While How to Succeed... was in its early development, producer Cy Feuer attended a trade show and was extremely impressed by an elaborate dance number created by Lambert, prompting Feuer to hire Lambert to choreograph the new musical. According to Burrows, it soon became clear in rehearsals that Lambert's creative abilities were completely used up in that one elaborate dance number. Bob Fosse was brought in to replace him, but Fosse was unwilling to hurt Lambert's career by having him fired. Lambert's trade-show dance number was recycled as the "Treasure Hunt" dance in How to Succeed..., while Fosse agreed to take a "musical staging" credit for choreographing all the other dance numbers. Burrows also reveals that another crisis arose in rehearsals when former recording star Rudy Vallee wanted to interpolate some of his hit songs from the 1930s.

Broadway (1961-1965)
The show opened on Broadway on October 14, 1961 at the 46th Street Theatre, and closed on March 6, 1965 after 1,417 performances. The cast starred Robert Morse as Finch, Bonnie Scott as his secretary Rosemary, Charles Nelson Reilly as Bud Frump, and Rudy Vallee as the company president. Virginia Martin played Hedy LaRue.

West End (1963-1964)
The West End production opened at the Shaftesbury Theatre on March 28, 1963 and ran for 520 performances. It was also directed by Burrows and Bob Fosse, and featured a new London cast. Warren Berlinger and Billy De Wolfe starred as Finch and Biggley respectively, with Patricia Michael as Rosemary, Josephine Blake as Smitty, David Knight as Bud Frump, Olive Lucius as Miss Jones, Bernard Spear as Mr. Twimble, and Eileen Gourlay as Hedy La Rue.

Broadway revival (1995-1996)
A Broadway revival opened at the original theatre, now renamed Richard Rodgers Theatre on March 23, 1995 and closed on July 14, 1996 after 548 performances. It was directed by Des McAnuff and choreographed by Wayne Cilento. Matthew Broderick starred as Finch, and Rosemary was played by Megan Mullally. In a pre-recorded performance, Walter Cronkite was the Book Voice. The replacements for Mullally and Broderick were Broderick's future wife, Sarah Jessica Parker as Rosemary and John Stamos as Finch. The wardrobe was designed by Susan Hilferty and is on display at the Costume World Broadway Collection in Pompano Beach, Florida.

US National Tour (1996-1997)
A national tour of 'How To Succeed' ran beginning in Baltimore in May 1996 and ended in Milwaukee in June 1997. Other stops included Sacramento, Portland, and Seattle. The national tour cast featured Ralph Macchio as J. Pierrepont Finch, Shauna Hicks (Rosemary Pilkington), Richard Thomsen (J.B. Biggley), Pamela Blair (Hedy LaRue), and Roger Bart (Bud Frump). Both Macchio and the production played to favorable reviews.

Broadway revival (2011-2012)
Daniel Radcliffe was featured in a reading in December 2009, with Rob Ashford as director and choreographer. Radcliffe starred in the revival for ten months, which began previews at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre on February 26, 2011, with the official opening on March 27, 2011. Rob Ashford directs and choreographs. Other cast includes Rose Hemingway as Rosemary Pilkington, Mary Faber as Smitty, Tammy Blanchard as Hedy La Rue, Christopher Hanke as Bud Frump, and John Larroquette as J.B. Biggley. Anderson Cooper has recorded the Voice of the Book for the adaptation. The production was nominated for nine 2011 Tony Awards, including for director-choreographer Rob Ashford and as Best Revival of a Musical. John Larroquette won the Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Musical.
Darren Criss succeeded Radcliffe in the role of J. Pierrepont Finch for a limited three week engagement from January 3–22, 2012. Criss was awarded the Broadway.com Audience Choice Award for Favorite Replacement for his performance in this role. Beau Bridges replaced John Larroquette as J.B. Biggley starting January 3, 2012. Nick Jonas took over the role of Finch on January 24, 2012. Jonas was nominated for a 2012 Broadway Beacon Award for his performance in this role. Michael Urie replaced Christopher Hanke in the role of Bud Frump starting on January 24, 2012.
The production closed on May 20, 2012 after 30 previews and 473 regular performances.

 

Détails

Liste des chansons

Act I
Overture
How To Succeed - J. Pierrepont Finch
Happy To Keep His Dinner Warm - Rosemary Pilkington
Coffee Break - Smitty, Bud Frump & Chorus
The Company Way - Finch & Twimble
The Company Way (Reprise) - Bud, Twimble & Company
A Secretary is Not a Toy - Bratt, Bud & Men
Been a Long Day - Smitty, Finch & Rosemary
Been a Long Day (Reprise )- Bud, J.B. Biggley & Hedy LaRue
Grand Old Ivy - Finch & Biggley
Paris Original - Rosemary, Smitty, Mrs. Jones & Girls
Rosemary - Finch & Rosemary
Act I Finale - Finch, Rosemary & Bud

Act II
Cinderella, Darling - Smitty & Girls
1995 revival replacement: How to Succeed (Reprise)
Happy To Keep His Dinner Warm (Reprise) - Rosemary
Love From a Heart of Gold - Biggley & Hedy
I Believe in You - Finch & Men
I Believe in You (Reprise) - Rosemary
Brotherhood of Man - Finch, Wally Womper, Mrs. Jones & Men
Finale - Company

Liste des rôles

Major Characters
J. Pierrepont Finch - a window washer who applies for a job at the World Wide Wicket Company.
Rosemary Pilkington - a secretary at the World Wide Wicket Company who instantly falls in love with Finch.
J.B. Biggley - The boss of the World Wide Wicket Company.
Bud Frump - Biggley's arrogant and lazy nephew.
Hedy LaRue - Biggley's attractive and dim-witted mistress.
Supporting Characters
Miss Jones - Biggley's immovable secretary who is charmed by Finch.
Book voice - the "voice" of the book How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying which narrates the musical
Mr. Bert Bratt - Personnel manager
Mr. Twimble - Head of the mailroom for 25 years; finally gets promoted to the shipping department.
Smitty - Rosemary's best friend and fellow secretary at the World Wide Wicket Company
Mr. Milton Gatch - head of the Plans and Systems department
Miss Krumholtz - a secretary of Mr. Gatch, then J. Pierrepont Finch.
Mr. Benjamin Burton Daniel Ovington - prospective head of the advertising department until Finch reveals that he has graduated from Biggley's college's archrival; he is often referred to in the show by his initials, "BBDO".
Mr. Wally Womper - the Chairman of the World Wide Wicket Company. He is traditionally played by the same actor as Twimble.
Executives and Secretaries - Chorus

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