Monday, November 10, 2014

PREVIEW: How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying by The Hong Kong Singers

After the success of I LOVE YOU, YOU’RE PEFECT, NOW CHANGE, The Hong Kong Singers is currently preparing for their next major production. This time, The Hong Kong Singers is going back to the format that it is best known for, and that is the BIG Broadway musicals! On January 11 to 18 2015 at the Hong Kong City Hall Drama Theatre, Hong Kong will witness a new production of the 1962 Pulitzer Prize-winning musical HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS WITHOUT REALLY TRYING. This musical by Frank Loesser and book by Abe Burrows, Jack Weinstock, and Willie Gilbert is based on Shepherd Mead's 1952 book of the same name. The story concerns a young and ambitious J. Pierrepont Finch, who, with the help of the book How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, rises from window washer to chairman of the board of the World Wide Wicket Company.

The musical, starring Robert Morse and Rudy Vallee, opened at the 46th Street Theatre on Broadway in October 1961, running for 1,417 performances; and eventually won seven Tony Awards. In 1967, a film based on the musical was released by United Artists, with Morse and Vallee recreating their stage roles. A 1995 revival was mounted at the same theatre as the original production (now named the Richard Rodgers Theatre). It ran for 548 performances and starred Matthew Broderick and Megan Mullally. A 50th anniversary Broadway revival directed and choreographed by Rob Ashford and starring Daniel Radcliffe and John Larroquette opened on March 27, 2011, at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre and ran for 473 performances. Check-out my review of the 50th anniversary production.

For The Hong Kong Singers’ production, the show will be directed and choreographed by Mandy Petty. Music direction will be by Scott Gibson. Both Petty and Gibson have worked together on shows for The Hong Kong Singers before to great success. Checkout my reviews on SECRET EVERY SMART TRAVELER SHOULD KNOW and NUNSENSE! Starring in the musical is Nathan Koval as the determined J. Pierrepont Finch. Playing Finch’s love interest, Rosemary Pilkington, is Christine Ling. Hong Kong veteran theatre director and actor (in experience but not in age) Arvin Robles will be playing the role J.B. Biggley, the president of the company. Playing Bud Frump, Biggley's arrogant and lazy nephew, is Tim Elliot. Another Hong Kong veteran actor (again, only in experience and not in age), Shareen Sing, will be playing the femme fatale Hedy LaRue. Adam Walker will be playing Personnel Manager, Mr. Bert Bratt. Playing the double role of Mr. Twimble (head of the mailroom) and Mr. Wally Womper (chairman of the company), traditionally done by a single actor be it in the movie or in Broadway productions is Steven Co. Stephanie Kwan will play Rosemary's best friend and fellow secretary Smitty.

Here are some performances of the cast members in their previous roles or shows.

Nathan Koval will be playing J. Pierrepont Finch (a window washer who applies for a job at the World Wide Wicket Company)

Arvin Robles will be playing J.B. Biggley (the President of the World Wide Wicket Company)

Tim Elliot will be playing Bud Frump (Biggley's arrogant and lazy nephew)

Shareen Sing will be playing Hedy LaRue (Biggley's attractive and dim-witted mistress)

Steven Co will be playing Mr. Twimble (Head of the mailroom for 25 years; finally gets promoted to the shipping department) and Mr Wally Womper (Chairman of the World Wide Wicket Company)

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