Portsmouth West High School’s Musical Theatre Department will present the musical, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, on May 12-14 at the Vern Riffe Center for the Arts, 941 2nd Street in Portsmouth.
Directed by Linda Tieman, this production features over 40 students ranging from freshmen to seniors.
How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying follows the rise of J. Pierepont Finch, who uses a little handbook called How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, to climb the cooperate ladder from lowly window washer to high powered executive. The show is a satirical take on big business and tackles the familiar dangers of the compliant “company man,” the office party, backstabbing co-workers, caffeine addiction and love. The show features songs like, “I Believe in You,” “Brotherhood of Man,” and “The Company Way.”
The cast features seniors, Will Bentley as J. Pierepont Finch and Caitlin Russell as Rosemary.
“The show is set in the 60s where women were only secretaries in business and it sort’ve ridicules the time where women couldn’t do anything like we can now,” said Caitlin Russell. “Rosemary is a secretary and she falls in love with a man (Finch) who is very successful and is climbing up the ladder. I think I relate a lot to Rosemary, we have the kind of personality, we both have a lot of admiration for people and it’s been really fun to be close to a character that I represent myself.”
It also stars, Jerrod Rushford as Gatch, Uriah VanDyke and Levi Kourns as Jenkins and Bratt, Noah Lovins as Tackaberry, J.B. Biggley will be played by Alec Arnett, Kayleigh Holland as Smitty, Seth Shepard as Bud Frump, Layla McGinnis as Miss Jones, Austin Scott and Evan Lamblin as Mr. Twimble and Womper, Hedy will be played by Destiny Schiltz and Alicia Smith will perform as Miss Krumholtz, Nick Gray as Ovington, and Dalton Pertuset will play the narrator.
The show also features an ensemble composed of students, Addison Guilliams, Alexis VanDyke, Ally McNeal, Amber Bledsoe, Ariel Lewis, Byron Frost, Dacota Wetmore, Destiny Layne, Fern Musick, Gracie Evans, Haleigh Williams, Hannah Dixon, Ivy Ferguson, Jakeb Guilkey, Jordan Willis, Casey Rigsby, Katelyn York, Lindsey Howard, Mariah Stegall, Mason Book, Nick Gray, Noah Lovins, Hannah Carter, Charles Evans and Taylor Pennington.
According to Technical Director, Gary Tieman, the students have been doing well in rehearsals and are looking forward to opening night.
“Mrs. T (Linda Tieman) over the last few years has been able to develop a successful program, when the kids try out, they know what they’re getting into. They know it requires ample rehearsal and it’s rigorous. It’s an open opportunity and an opening casting call for everybody,” Gary Tieman explained. “The students are truly a family, they help each other, they work hard. This musical is a little bit out of their comfort zone because it’s set in the 1960’s and they’re not familiar with the 60’s. They don’t understand some of the dialogue and the jokes, so they work together to get a feel of what this show is and it’s definite time-period which they have to understand to do it properly. It’s a great group of kids.”
Performances will be held at the Vern Riffe Center for the Arts, May 12 at 7:30 p.m., May 13, 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., and May 14 at 2 p.m.
Tickets are $8 for students and $13 standard and are available by calling the McKinley Box Office by calling 740-351-3600 or by visiting www.vrcfa.com.
Reach Ciara Conley at 740-981-6977, Facebook “Ciara Conley - Daily Times,” and Twitter @PDT_Ciara.