"the gross and scope of my opinion ..." Hamlet I,1.
Thursday, October 17, 2013
HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS WITHOUT REALLY TRYING
TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS WITHOUT REALLY TRYING
Operatic Society at Brentwood Theatre
Loesser's swan song recalls more innocent days, when HR was
Personnel, copies were made with carbon paper and sexual harassment
was a harmless slap and cuddle.
Jarram's production at Brentwood brings it into the twenty-first
century with a wonderful split-level set, complete with elevator,
scrolling Dow Jones, flat screens and cordless phones.
story, though, is stuck in the 50s, when every secretary's ambition
was to marry the boss and "keep his dinner warm". It tells
of Window Washer J Pierrepont Finch [a confident Allister Smith] and
his inexorable rise to the top of Worldwide Wickets.
in the book are outweighed by some excellent performances and one or
two show-stopping routines – the glorious Brotherhood of Man
production number well worth waiting for, with its tap shoes, ring
binders and waste bins.
Thomas is the shy Rosemary, getting a crack at the big ballad, and
rewarded at last with the hand of her Ponty. Superb character work
from Martin Harris as big boss JB, old school song and old-fashioned
love duet [with Amy Newland's vamp] both brilliantly handled, and
Jordon Cox very watchable as Bud Frump, Finch's devious rival in the
mail room. Louise Byrne, as Smitty, brings vocal style to several
numbers, including the amusingly staged Coffee Break.