To appreciate ‘How to Succeed in Business,’ now at Marriott Theatre, you have to go back in time to the 1950s when shirtwaist and little jacket dresses were in and large companies had a typing pool of secretaries who dreamed of marrying their boss.
Based on Shepherd Mead’s 1952 satirical book but adapted in 1961 into a Frank Loesser musical with book by Abe Burrows, Jack Weinstock and Willie Gilbert, the show is dated. The boss is just as likely to be female.
The second part of Mead’s title is ‘The Dastard’s Guide to Fame and Fortune.” If you haven’t seen the 1967 movie starring Robert Morse, the book’s full title is a clue that the show reveals how some businesses hire and promote employees, back then and, horrors, even now.
‘Kinky Boots,’ a high-kicking, Tony Award winning musical by Harvey Fierstein and Cyndi Lauper, is back in Chicago for only a week. And it’s back better than ever.
As Charlie Price of Price and Son, a failing Northhampton, England men’s shoe company, Adam Kaplan is very convincing as a son who does not want to work in the family business. He moves to London with fiancé Nicola, beautifully sung and interpreted by Broadway and film actress Ellen Marlow. There, Charlie tries to help drag-queen/cabaret star Lola who was being bothered by thugs.
Light Opera Works’ “Mame” moves from one terrific scene to the next with never a let-up of charm, clever dialogue or fun.
The musical opens in New York with a terrific Roaring 20s party that begs the question of how can it hold on to such a high note. Well, it is beautifully choreographed by Clayton Cross and insightfully directed by Rudy Hogenmiller.
Ravinia Festival was jammed inside the pavilion and out on the lawn last Saturday, but with Tony Bennett caressing the “mic” backed by his outstanding jazz/pop quartet, the atmosphere was nightclub intimate.
“Newsies” fight publishing tycoons with sling-shot headlines
The touring company of “Newsies” is as exciting as the headlines that sell papers. The lead actors who battle Joseph Pulitzer on his unfair practices are terrific, but it is the high energy of the company’s talented dancers and singers who will likely have you recommending this Tony Award winning musical.
“War Paint,” a period piece, reminds that makeup is still big business
A musical about the intense rivalry between Helena Rubinstein and Elizabeth Arden, the world’s makeup/skin care queens during the first half of the 20th century, “War Paint” can be appreciated on several levels.
Waiting tables becomes a comedy source in “My Son the Waiter: A Jewish Tragedy”
Brad Zimmerman, a stand-up comedian who has opened for Joan Rivers and George Carlin, regales audiences with tales of waiter-customer encounters (“Lady, is anything all right?”) in his one-man show, “My Son the Waiter: A Jewish Tragedy.” He also throws in a lot of Jewish-mother imposed guilt and his own lack of ambition.