Rising Star Project: How to Succeed in Business
Mar 3 – Mar 5, 2016
Book by Abe Burrows, Jack Weinstock, and Willie Gilbert
Rising Star Project: How to Succeed in Business
Plan Your Visit
Whether this is your first visit to The 5th Avenue Theatre or your 50th, we want to ensure that you enjoy every moment. If you have any questions about the theater accommodations or services, please call 206-625-1900 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Productions begin promptly, so please arrive at least 15 minutes early. Doors open 45 minutes before the show and seating begins 30 minutes before the curtain.
Patrons arriving late will be seated at the first suitable pause in the performance in the least disruptive location. Following intermission, an usher will help you find your seat.
All performances will take place as scheduled, regardless of weather conditions.
The 5th Avenue Theatre welcomes children ages 4 and older. Children under 4 years of age, including babes in arms, will not be admitted.
Please leave the following information with your sitter or service, so we can quickly locate you in the event of an emergency:
Theatre Coat Check phone: 206-625-1294
Coat Check, Assistive Devices, and Special Needs
Complimentary Coat Check is located in the lobby next to Aisle 3. You may check any item you don’t wish to carry into the theater. Booster seats, assistive listening headsets, and Braille playbills are available at no charge. Binoculars may be rented for $5.00.
Food & Drinks
Refreshments are available for purchase on both levels of the lobby before the performance and during intermission. Candy and beverages purchased at the lobby concession stand may be brought into the theatre. Beverages must be in a bottle with cap or a theater cup with lid.
Ticket Refunds & Exchanges
You may exchange your tickets if you do so 24 hours or more prior to your scheduled performance date. Subscribers may exchange tickets with no exchange fee. Single-ticket buyers are charged an exchange fee. Please note: Tickets are non-refundable.
If you lose or forget your tickets, please call 206-625-1900 or 888-5TH-4TIX for a replacement. You may pick up your tickets at the Box Office on the day of the show.
We strongly discourage patrons from purchasing tickets through outside vendors. Tickets bought from scalpers, brokers or by other third-party means may be counterfeit or inadmissible, and they are often grossly overpriced. These purchases do not benefit the performers, producers or The 5th Avenue Theatre. Purchasing directly from the 5th Avenue Theatre is your best bet for best seats and best available prices.
Cameras & Recorders
The use of cameras and video or audio recording equipment is strictly prohibited. You may leave these items at the Coat Check.
Smoking is not allowed in any part of the theater nor within 25 feet of the theater entrance.
No firearms of any kind are allowed in any part of the theater.
Ask an Usher
If you experience any discomfort during a performance, an usher or the House Manager will be glad to assist you.
Some shows deal with mature themes and may not be appropriate for all children. For information about whether a particular show is suitable for your child, we strongly encourage you to read the Content Advisories for each production. Children under 4, including babes in arms, will not be admitted.
How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying
How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, which first opened on Broadway in the fall of 1961, could be called the original Mad Men; like the television series, the musical satirizes the foibles, faults, follies, and failings of the mid-20th Century business world. The show concerns the rise of J. Pierpont Finch, who is young, ambitious, and following all the hints offered in a self-help book with the same title as the show.
This is mild, for the most part, with lots of “damns,” occasional “goddams.”
Mr. Gatch makes a pass at Rosemary, who rejects him (“Please, Mr. Gatch!”). He comments, “I’ve got to stop reading Playboy!”
Boss J. B. Biggley fights with his wife over the phone (wives are regarded as nags) and then is heard talking to another woman, obviously his girlfriend. Later this girlfriend, Hedy LaRue, will appear in the office to apply for a job as a secretary. She is described in the script as “a dish. A real dish,” and all of the men are staring at her. When she is told that the company will need her “particulars,” she responds with her measurements. One of the mesmerized businessmen exclaims, “I win the pool!”
Office staff, male and female, join together to declare in song that “A Secretary is Not a Toy, / No, my boy, / Not a toy, / To fondle and dandle / And playfully handle / In search of some puerile joy.” Nevertheless, in a subsequent scene, the men are seen waiting for the elevators as they discuss their business goals and ambitions; they are followed by the women, who discuss how to handle the men’s unwanted advances.
The “executive secretaries” are invited to a reception “to act as hostesses.” One secretary, Smitty, who wants to be popular, says she is “thinking of starting a secret rumor that I’m a nymphomaniac.”
Smoking is unapologetically indulged in, as is alcohol.
The leading character, J. Pierpont Finch, is seen smoking a cigar; another member of the staff declares he is going out for a smoke. Characters are seen drinking at an office reception, some of them to excess.
The characters take the period’s rigid gender roles for granted: secretaries/typists are female (and called “girls”), business executives are male. The company line is that “A Secretary is Not a Toy,” but the female employees are nonetheless seen discussing their efforts to repel unwanted overtures from their bosses. Rosemary’s song, “Happy to Keep His Dinner Warm,” which is echoed by the other secretaries in the company, satirizes what is supposedly the secret wish of every working woman in the late 50s/early 60s: “Oh, to be loved / By a man I respect / To bask in the glow / Of his perfectly understandable neglect. / Wearing the wifely uniform / While he goes onward and upward.”
Intrigue, flattery, deceit, and sabotage are all weapons used in the ruthless struggle to climb the corporate ladder. For instance, Finch is alarmed when he is assigned Hedy LaRue as a secretary: his book warns him that “The smaller her skills, the bigger her protector,” and Hedy’s complete lack of skills indicates she is the boss’s girlfriend. He sends her to Mr. Gatch’s office, where she is grabbed by him (the lights go down). When the lights come up, Finch is sitting at the desk of the unfortunate Mr. Gatch, who has been transferred to Venezuela.