August 8, 2020

See “How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying” Tonight at Lyme-Old Lyme HS

In this rehearsal photo, J. Pierrepoint Finch, played by Tova Toriella, plans her strategy on a swing. All reheasral photos by B. Cheney.

LYME-OLD LYME — Lyme-Old Lyme High School’s (LOLHS) talented students will perform the musical, “How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying” by Frank Loesser this evening, Thursday,Friday and Saturday (Feb. 6, 7 and 8) with shows at 7 p.m. and a matinée on Saturday at 2 p.m.

Brian Cheney is serving as Stage and Music Director for the production.

Professional opera tenor Brian Cheney, who lives with his family in Old Lyme where his daughters attend Lyme-Old Lyme Schools, directed last year’s show, Anything Goes, but this year is serving as both Stage and Music Director of the production. He kindly took time out of his hectic schedule to talk with LymeLine about the upcoming show.

Asked first to describe the show, he said, “It’s a great musical comedy with an unbelievable score, adding, “I am thrilled with the work the students have put into the show.”

Cheney noted “It’s a very special production with some surprises. One is that we have a local celebrity making a cameo appearance as the Book Voice, LOLHS’s very own Bill Rayder!” Physical Education teacher Rayder is in his 45th year at the high school but Cheney commented, “This show actually marks his musical theater debut of his multi-decade career!”

Apart from the involvement of Rayder, the LOLHS version of “How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying” has a few other twists compared with the original show, which was launched on Broadway in 1961 and garnered numerous awards.

Cheney described how, “J. Pierrepont Finch (played by Tova Toriello), a young but bright window-cleaner buys a book titled, “How To Succeed In Business,” and, following its advice, joins the multi-national but poorly-connected World-Wide Wicket Company (WWWC). Starting from the mail-room, she rises to Vice-President in Charge of Advertising using sneaky and dubious ways so that the person immediately senior to her is either fired or moved to another section of the company.”

An all-action shot from one of the many rehearsals.

Cheney noted that, to complicate matters, Finch also starts slowly falling in love with secretary Reginald Pilkington (played by Michael DeGaetano.) Meanwhile, the president of the WWWC, J.B. Biggley (Jonathan Hamilton), in Cheney’s words, “tries to have an affair with the drop-dead gorgeous bubble-head Hedy LaRue (Jacqueline Malizia.)”

Trouble starts though, says Cheney, “… when LaRue becomes a weapon used both by Finch and Bud Frump (Biggley’s brattish and annoying nephew played by Jean-Luc Buldoc), who firmly believes that he should get all the breaks … and not Finch.”

Members of the cast rehearse one of the musical numbers.

So what happens? Does Finch rise to the top or does it all go down in flames?

Well, you’ll have to see the show to find out — no spoilers here! Tickets are $15 for adults and $12 for students and can be purchased at this link or at the door … if there are any remaining.

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