Sopris Sun Staff Report
Once a lowly window washer, J. Pierrepont Finch rocketed to chairman of the board, thanks to a book called “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.”
And thanks to the newest musical production from Carbondale’s SoL Theatre Company, you too, can learn the secrets of how to climb the corporate ladder, grab the corner office and – of course – get the girl.
“How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying,” a musical satire that garnered a Pulitzer and seven Tonys, has recently enjoyed a 50th anniversary revival on Broadway. That revival of the 1960s classic featured Daniel Radcliffe (of “Harry Potter” fame) and John Larroquette (the sarcastic lawyer from TV’s “Night Court”), dancing to and singing the music and lyrics of Broadway legend Frank Loesser. Matthew Broderick, Darren Criss (“Glee”) and Nick Jonas have all starred as J. Pierrepont Finch as well.
SoL Theatre’s artistic director, Logan Carter, says ever since she was in the play in high school, she’s wanted to re-create it. “It was one of the most fun theater experiences I ever had,” she said. “The show is so fun, clever and witty and the characters are so wacky.”
The show is a musical comedy set in the 1950s poking fun at life in the office, and tells the story of a man’s rise to success and how he survives the drama of office politics. “It’s a 1950s musical version of ‘The Office,’” says Carter. “What more could you want?”
SoL Theatre’s production features a cast of two dozen teen performers who have collectively graced nearly every stage from Aspen to Rifle — multiple times.
“They are learning Broadway choreography and singing three-part harmonies,” says Carter, “and most of them have never worked together before in a production outside of school.”
Among the veteran actors is Bryan Edelmann, who plays the ambitious Finch. He has been in countless shows at The Garden School (from which he recently graduated) and SoL Theatre’s “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.” Also in “Joseph” and in “Hairspray” was Beth Fawley, who plays Finch’s love interest, Rosemary. When not acting in plays, Beth is a sophomore at Roaring Fork High School.
Portraying Hedy LaRue in “How to Succeed …” is Erica Arensman, a recent graduate of Glenwood Springs High School, who has been in everything from “Oliver” to “Rent.” Joe McCance, who plays J.B. Biggely, has had major roles in three previous plays; he is going into his junior year at The Garden School.
Dory Light is musical director, Jacqui Edelmann is choreographer and Dani Grace Kopf is stage manager.
Nearly half of the two-dozen actors either live in or attend school in Carbondale.