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How To Succeed in Business without Really Trying – The New Broadway Cast Recording 1995

How To Succeed in Business without Really Trying – The New Broadway Cast Recording 1995

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Synopsis

ACT I J. Pierrepont Finch, an ambitious, clear-eyed window washer, stands perched on a scaffold suspended outside the headquarters of World Wide Wickets singing the praises of his guidebook to corporate success (“How to Succeed”). Entering the huge offices, Finch bumps into J.B. Biggley, the president of the company. J.B. berates him but Finch, not knowing who he is, doesn’t let it faze him. All of this is observed by the pretty secretary Rosemary Pilkington who is instantly smitten with Finch. She offers to help him find a job at World Wide Wickets any way she can. She leaves to find her best friend Smitty, the Director of Personnel’s secretary. Before she can return, Finch succeeds through a series of misunderstandings (and strategic use of Mr. Biggley’s name) in getting a position in the mailroom. When Rosemary arrives with Smitty, they find Finch already employed. Rosemary envisions the life she will share with him (“Happy to Keep His Dinner Warm”). A week later, Bud Frump, J.B.’s obnoxious nephew who works alongside Finch in the mailroom, finds himself, Smitty and the other employees without their morning fix of caffeine (“Coffee Break”). At work, Finch gets some words of advice from the long-employed head of the mailroom, Mr. Twimble (“The Company Way”). When he is offered a promotion within the mailroom, Finch, on the advice of his trusty guidebook to success, turns it down and magnanimously suggests the position be given to his arch-enemy Bud Frump. Frump, not knowing any better, is thrilled and promises that, like Mr. Twimble before him, he too will play it “The Company Way – reprise.” Finch’s generosity toward Frump pays off. He is given a promotion and becomes a junior executive under Mr. Gatch, Vice-President of Plans and Systems. Rosemary is thrilled at how quickly Finch is moving up the corporate ladder and she invites herself out to lunch with him. While she is getting her things Mr. Gatch comes in and invites Finch out to lunch on his expense account. Finch happily agrees, leaving a very disappointed Rosemary alone. Meanwhile J.B. has prevailed upon Mr. Bratt, the Director of Personnel, to hire a “close friend,” the voluptuous Miss Hedy LaRue, as a secretary. When she appears (“The Entrance of Hedy LaRue”) every executive begs to have Miss LaRue assigned to him but Mr. Bratt reminds them that “A Secretary is Not a Toy.” At the end of the day, Finch, using all of his abundant charm, asks Miss Jones, J.B.’s notoriously cold and humorless secretary, about J.B.’s college affiliations. At the elevator he runs into Rosemary and, with Smitty’s guidance, they make plans for dinner (“Been a Long Day”). Bud Frump overhears an incriminating conversation between J.B. and Hedy LaRue and decides that he will use it later to his own advantage (“Been a Long Day – reprise”). The following morning, Saturday, Finch comes in at dawn, gracefully spreading empty coffee cups, cigarette butts and other pieces of trash around his desk (“Saturday Morning Ballet”) so that when J.B. comes to the office to get his golf clubs, he finds Finch slumped over his desk “asleep” after apparently working all night. J.B. is impressed by Finch’s dedication to his work. Finch “unconsciously” hums a melody and when J.B. recognizes the tune as the “Groundhog” song from Old Ivy the two of them reminisce about their Alma Mater (where Finch never went) and their team’s arch-rivals, the “Chipmunks” (“Grand Old Ivy”). Hedy LaRue has been assigned to Finch as his secretary. His guidebook tells him that the smaller the secretarial skills, the bigger her protector at the company. Needless to say Hedy LaRue has virtually no secretarial skills. Finch asks her to take a file up to Mr. Gatch and to give it to him personally. Mr. Gatch, unaware of Miss LaRue’s provenance, is impressed by her and. … in a few days, Mr. Gatch has been transferred to Venezuela and Finch has replaced Gatch as Vice-President of Plans and Systems. Rosemary has been made secretary to the new Vice-President of Advertising, for whom there is going to be a formal reception. She decides she has to look especially fetching for Finch and splurges on a new dress, a “Paris Original.” At the reception Bud Frump, still on the lower rungs of the corporate ladder, sees an opportunity to rid himself of Finch. He sets a trap for Finch to be caught alone in J.B.’s office with Hedy LaRue. When Hedy insists on kissing Finch, he hears music and knows he is in love – with Rosemary. When Rosemary enters and finds Finch and Hedy in a clinch she is devastated – but not enough to bring ruin on his career. She refuses to believe Finch’s protest that he is really in love with her until he asks her to marry him and then … well, she hears music too. J.B. catches Finch alone with Rosemary (instead of with Hedy LaRue) and Frump’s plan is spoiled. To make matters worse for Frump, when J.B. learns that the new Vice-President of Advertising is a “Chipmunk” he fires him and gives Finch his job and Rosemary becomes his secretary. While it would appear all is right between Finch and Rosemary, she is dismayed when in the middle of their embrace he phones the door painter to have his name painted in gold on the door. Meanwhile Frump, his plan spoiled, vows revenge! (“Act One Finale”). ACT II Hurt by Finch’s inattention to her, Rosemary has quit her job and broken up with him. Smitty begs her to reconsider her decision with the help of a new book that all the girls are reading: “How to Succeed – reprise.” Now that he is the Vice-President of Advertising, Finch needs to come up with “the big idea.” Frump, sayinq he wants to bury the hatchet between them, offers an idea for a TV giveaway game show called the “World Wide Wicket Treasure Hunt.” Finch is suspicious, but Frump assures him that there is no malice involved and that he hasn’t said a word of this idea to J.B. – Finch, it seems, believes him. Rosemary and Finch make up. He asks her what the giveaway show should give away. She answers that she loves him and doesn’t care if he gives away the whole company (“Happy to Keep His Dinner Warm – reprise”). Finch develops Rosemary’s idea, and he proposes that the game show give away stock in World Wide Wickets. In J.B.’s office, Frump reminds J.B. how much he had disliked his Treasure Hunt Giveaway idea. Hedy LaRue has decided to leave World Wide Wickets and get a job demonstrating skin cream in a department store in Los Angeles. J.B. begs her to stay and she gives him twenty-four hours to come up with a suitable job for her (“Love from a Heart of Gold”). Outside of J.B.’s office, Hedy and Finch bump into one another and she tells him that she is thinking of quitting. Finch suggests that maybe there is a way they can help one another. In the Executive Washroom, prior to the big Boardroom meeting, all of the executives are worried about the threat to their jobs posed by Finch. At the same time Finch gives himself a pep talk in the mirror while he shaves (“I Believe in You”). The Big Meeting. Finch enters and dazzles the brass with images of Vesuvius erupting, and J.B.’s picture on the covers of Time, Newsweek, and Sports Illustrated. When J.B. hears the Treasure Hunt Giveaway idea he hates it but when he sees that the Treasure Hunt Girl is (for demonstration purposes only) Hedy LaRue, he changes his mind. J.B. asks everyone but Finch to leave the room, and he and Finch discuss some details. J.B. wants Hedy to be the real Treasure Hunt Girl. Finch agrees. They also agree that they will be the only two people in the world who would know where the prizes (stock certificates) are hidden. Calling the executives back in, J.B. tells them he likes the idea and they, much to Frump’s consternation, approve the Treasure Hunt Giveaway. On the premiere telecast all is going well (“The Pirate Dance”) until Hedy is asked to swear on a Bible that she doesn’t know where the prizes are hidden. She does know and she tells the whole country that the stock certificates are hidden in the ten World Wide Wicket Buildings across the country. Finch is ruined. The next day, in what the treasure hunters have left of the Wicket offices, everyone is looking for Finch. But Rosemary promises to stick by him (“I Believe in You – reprise”). Frump is triumphant at Finch’s downfall. Finch is summoned to a meeting in the lobby and he decides to face what’s coming to him. In the lobby of World Wide Wicket Headquarters, J.B. introduces everyone to Mr. Wally Womper, the Chairman of the Board of World Wide Wickets. J.B. informs Womper that they have someone to pin the whole disaster on. Finch, to everyone’s surprise, is willing to sign a letter of resignation and tells them all that he is going back to his job as a window washer. At these words Womper becomes interested, after all he started out as a window washer himself. Womper and Finch become ‘Wally’ and ‘Ponty’ and Finch “innocently” pins the whole Giveaway show idea on Bud Frump (and the selection of the Treasure Girl on Biggley). Womper likes what he is hearing and Finch continues: he jubilantly reminds everyone that we’re all part of one big club, and everyone, especially the notoriously cold and humorless Miss Jones, is swept up in the feeling (“Brotherhood of Man”). Some days later, J.B. Biggley, still president, assures those gathered that World Wide Wickets is stronger than ever thanks to the brightness and energy of one man – J. Pierrepont Finch. Finch gives all the credit to a great man and a great humanitarian – Wally Womper. A newly wed Womper enters with his bride, the former Hedy LaRue. Finch announces that Womper (somewhat to his own surprise) is retiring as Chairman of the Board, and that the Wompers are going to take a honeymoon trip around the world. Finch is chosen as his successor but tells the crowd he must get permission from his wife before he accepts. Rosemary tells him, “Darling I don’t care if you work in the mailroom, or you’re Chairman of the Board, or you’re President of the United States, I love you.” The always ambitious Finch smiles: “Say that again,” “I love you,” “No, before that.” Bud Frump appears outside, washing the windows with one hand while reading his guide to corporate success, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, with the other, as the entire company sings the “Finale.”

Credits

Voice of the Narrator: Walter Cronkite J. Pierrepont Finch: Matthew Broderick Milt Gatch: Tom Flynn Jenkins Jay: Aubrey Jones Davis: William Ryall Bert Bratt: Jonathan Freeman Tackaberry: Martin Moran J.B. Biggley: Ronn Carroll Rosemary Pilkington: Megan Mullally Bud Frump: Jeff Blumenkrantz Miss Krumholtz: Kristi Lynes Office Boy: Randl Ask Security Guard: Kevin Bogue Henchmen: Jack Hayes, Jerome Vivona Miss Jones: Lillias White Twimble: Gerry Vichi Hedy La Rue: Luba Mason Toynbee: Tom Flynn Scrubwomen: Rebecca Holt, Carla Renata Williams Dance Soloist: Nancy Lemenager Ovington: Randl Ask TV Announcer: Randl Ask Wickets and Wickettes: Kevin Bogue, Maria Calabrese, Jack Hayes, Nancy Lemenager, Kristi Lynes, Aiko Nakasone, Jerome Vivona, Carla Renata Williams, Wally Womper, Gerry Vinchi Ensemble: Randl Ask, Kevin Bogue, Maria Calabrese, Jeffry Denman, Tom Flagg, Tom Flagg, Tom Flynn, Pamela Gold, Jack Hayes, Rebecca Holt, Jay Aubrey Jones, Nancy Lemenager, Kristi Lynes, Martin Moran, Aiko Nakasone, William Ryall, Jerome Vivona, Carla Renata Williams