Bishop Ireton’s “How to Succeed…” succeeds at all levels--effortlessly

April 2, 2014

All reviews are written by Cappies student critics and edited by Cappies adult mentors prior to publishing.

Laura Baker, a student at W. T. Woodson High School , reviews Bishop Ireton High School’s ‘How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying’as part of the Cappies Critics and Awards Program.

Imagine what would happen if you had a little book telling you everything you need to know about how to put as little effort as possible into becoming a successful businessperson. Bishop Ireton High School has the answers in their production of How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying.

How to Succeed first graced the Broadway stage in 1961 with its upbeat songs by Frank Loesser and witty book by Abe Burrows, Jack Weinstock, and Willie Gilbert. The musical was a huge hit, sweeping the 1962 Tony Awards and running for 1,417 performances on Broadway. Set in glittering 1960s New York, the plot follows J. Pierrepont Finch, an ambitious young man who hopes to become a big name in the World Wide Wicket Company. He meets a variety of crazy characters on his way up, including the beautiful secretary Rosemary, with whom he strikes up a romance.

Bishop Ireton’s production was a success, with all aspects of the show flowing together to create a magical theatre experience. The costumes and set took us back in time to the 60s while the actors brought us into the story with them. The cast should be proud of their impeccable timing.

Joey Ledonio fearlessly led the production as J. Pierrepont Finch. He was 100% committed to his role, taking on the charismatic character with ease. Whenever he smiled, the audience smiled back. Angelica Miguel gave a sweet performance as the hopelessly in love Rosemary. Diego Rosende was an incredibly convincing as J.B. Biggley, the gruff older boss of World Wide Wicket. His mannerisms and voice set him apart and impressed the audience. Rolf Lundberg gave a hilarious performance as Bud Frump, the crybaby boss’s nephew.

The supporting and featured actors helped give ‘How to Succeed…’ that extra something. Abby Giuseppe brightened up the stage whenever she entered as the sassy Smitty. Loren Gant was hilarious and sexy as Hedy La Rue, a blonde bimbo who is sleeping with the boss. Her heavy New York accent was delivered with success. All of the supporting men gave convincing performances, especially Jon Paul Ryan as Mr. Twimble.

Many of the technical elements of ‘How to Succeed…’ ran without a hitch. The beautiful, multi-story set brought us into the world of a New York skyscraper. The costumes were well made, although a few may not have been true to the time period. Hair and makeup successfully captured the era, especially in the perfected bouffants on the girls. The props were kept simple yet added to the set. The lighting was on point, never leaving the audience (or the actors) in the dark. Sound never missed any of the many cues, perfectly matching the actions on the stage. Stage manager Elizabeth Addington and tech director Annalin Woo should be proud for leading the production with their many technical achievements.

Bishop Ireton High School’s How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying left their audience feeling happy and with a new appreciation for 1960s businessmen. The cast and crew gave their audience the best gift they can give: a good show.

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