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Cappies: Parkway Central takes care of business in 'How to Succeed'

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Feb. 28, 2013 - Despite being about a man who goes through life without doing any work, Parkway Central worked hard in its production of “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying,” and it showed through in a praiseworthy performance.

“How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying” premiered on Broadway in 1961. The show follows the story of a window washer, J. Pierrepont Finch, trying to climb his way up in the business world. While making allies with his bosses and finding romance along the way, problems arise, and suddenly Finch must learn to make decisions and take responsibility.

The energy throughout the production was abundant, particularly among the male chorus members. They made each dance lively, and all chorus members shined in the song “Coffee Break.” The voices of ensemble members and leads alike blended well, and every actor seemed to understand his or her character. Despite some problems with enunciation, the actors were easy to understand. Between the wonderful harmonies and the entertaining dances, this show was sure to please all audience members.

Aidan McCarter, who played Finch, kept the show going with his enthusiasm and great characterization. His chemistry with Greta Rosenstock, who played Rosemary, blossomed in Act II. The two sang beautifully together in the song “Rosemary.” Alexa McKenna, who played Smitty, had her chance to shine in both “Been A Long Day” and “Cinderella Darling.” Her powerful voice contrasted wonderfully with Rosenstock’s melodic, sweet sounding vocals.

Matthew Greenbaum kept the audience laughing as Mr. JB Biggley. He was able to manage the serious demeanor of a boss while adding to the comic relief. Another comedic character was Bud Frump, played by Jake Blonstein. He was consistent in his character throughout the entire show, whether the focus was on him or not. Lizzy Langa was also amusing in the role of Hedy LaRue. She was light-hearted and managed to capture the audience’s attention whenever she walked onstage.

The technical aspects of the show were commendable. The orchestra was simply superb whenever they played. The costumes were not only time appropriate, but colorful and attention-grabbing. While the set changes took a while, the set itself was quite amazing, as it featured several levels for the actors to perform on. The sound had a few problems, but every actor could be heard.

Parkway Central did an admirable job that was entertaining from start to finish. Through “How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying,” these actors were able to succeed in show business.

Renee Molner is a student at Notre Dame High School. The Cappies program works with students to review high school productions.