By Kenneth Jones
and Adam Hetrick
24 Dec 2009
|Photo by Carol Rosegg|
Tony Award winner Rob Ashford directed the Dec. 21 presentation of the Frank Loesser-Abe Burrows-Jack Weinstock-Willie Gilbert musical from 1961. Director-choreographer Ashford won the Tony for his choreography to Thoroughly Modern Millie and was acclaimed for directing Parade and A Streetcar Named Desire in London.
The reading cast was headlined by "Harry Potter" and Equus star Radcliffe as the charming innocent Finch, who goes from window washer to corporate star with the help of the how-to book of the title; the musical satire won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.
Tony Award winner David Hyde Pierce (Curtains) played the boss, Biggley. The reading principals also included Mary Faber as Smitty, Nancy Opel as Miss Jones, Rose Sezniak as Rosemary, Lewis Stadlen as Twimble, Don Stephenson as Mr. Bratt, Michael Urie as Frump and Renee Goldsberry as Hedy La Rue.
Des McAnuff, who staged the short-lived 2009 revival of Loesser's Guys and Dolls, directed the only Broadway revival of How to Succeed…, which was seen in 1995 starring Tony winner Matthew Broderick and Megan Mullally. The show went on to welcome Sarah Jessica Parker and John Stamos.
How to Succeed… features a score by Loesser. The original 1961 production earned seven Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Best Author and Best Score, as well as the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Robert Morse earned a Tony Award for his performance as J. Pierrepont Finch.
The score includes "I Believe in You," "Brotherhood of Man," "The Company Way," "Coffee Break," "Happy to Keep His Dinner Warm," "Been a Long Day," "Rosemary," "A Secretary Is Not a Toy," "How to Succeed" and more.