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Show Tunes - How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (1961)

album cover.jpg
Original Cast Album Artwork

All work AND a whole lot of play in Frank Loesser's satirical 1961 musical

In 1952, Stephen Mead wrote the satirical "instruction" book "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying." The book, a silly list of ways to lazily trick your way up the corporate ladder, was a big hit.

Frank Loesser made it into a musical in 1961, following the skyrocketing career of Finch and his relationship with his love interest, Rosemary. It was a smash with audiences, and won a pile of Tonys and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama!

Tony Awards (1962):

Best Musical (Frank Loesser)
Best Author (Abe Burrows, Jack Weinstock and Willie Gilbert)
Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical (Robert Morse)
Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical (Charles Nelson Reilly)
Best Direction of a Musical (Abe Burrows)
Best Producer (Cy Feuer and Ernest Martin)
Best Conductor and Musical Director (Elliot Lawrence)

Biggest Hit:

Brotherhood of Man

Honorable Mentions:

Coffee Break
Company Way

Eyebrow-Raising Alert (It Was the Times! It's satire, though, we promise.):

Cinderella Darling
A Secretary is Not a Toy

Musical Numbers:

  1. Overture
  2. How to Succeed
  3. Happy to Keep His Dinner Warm
  4. Coffee Break
  5. Company Way
  6. A Secretary is Not a Toy
  7. Been a Long Day
  8. Grand Old Ivy
  9. Paris Original
  10. Rosemary
  11. Cinderella Darling
  12. Love From a Heart of Gold
  13. I Believe In You
  14. The Brotherhood of Man
  15. Finale

Bonus - look at this! It's a menu from Stouffer's restaurant from around the time Finch and Rosemary would have gone on their dinner date:

A menu from Stouffer's Restaurant, ca. 1959

Kate Botello is a host and producer at Classical IPR.