The Story
How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying!
Music & Lyrics
FRANK LOESSER

Book
ABE BURROWS, JACK WEINSTOCK, WILLIE GILBERT
Based on a guidebook titled "How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying" by Shepherd Mead, this musical is a satire of big business and all it holds sacred. It follows the rise of J. Pierrepont Finch, who uses that little handbook to climb the corporate ladder from lowly window washer to high-powered executive, tackling such familiar but potent dangers as the aggressively compliant "company man," the boss' whiny, nepotistic nephew, the office party, backstabbing co-workers, caffeine addiction and, of course, true love.

PHOTOS
1994 Broadway Revival
2011 Broadway Revival
Artworks/ Posters

VIDEOS
Daniel Radcliffe and John Larroquette lead the Broadway revival company in a performance of 'Brotherhood Of Man' at the 2011 Tony Awards.

MUSIC
Brotherhood of Man
Daniel Radcliffe and Ensemble
2011 Broadway Cast Recording

THE STORY

ACT ONE

J. Pierrepont Finch, a young window washer with large ambitions, is at work on the windows of the World Wide Wicket Company. He has a squeegee in one hand and a copy of the book How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, in the other. A disembodied voice (the voice of the book) announces that from the books lessons, Finch will learn everything he needs to know to get ahead. Excited, Finch sings the titles of chapter headings in the book (How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying") as his scaffold descends. He removes his overalls, under which he is wearing a business suit, and steps into an office tableau.

After accidentally knocking down J.B. Biggley, the feared president of the company, Finch announces he'd like a job. Biggley stuffily refers him to the personnel manager. Rosemary Pilkington, a secretary, is impressed by Finch's boldness. She offers to help him meet Mr. Bratt, the personnel manager, who initially treats Finch brusquely, warming only at the mention of Biggley's name. Finch ingenuously implies that he and Biggley are old friends, causing a marked change in Bratt's attitude. Finch is promptly given a job in the mailroom. One of his fellow workers is Mr. Biggley's nephew, Bud Frump, who never hesitates to use his familial position to get ahead. Rosemary, who dreams of married life in the suburbs with an executive, has taken a liking to Finch, and fantasizes about him to her friend Smitty ("Happy To Keep His Dinner Warm").

A coffee break is called, but the machine has run out of coffee. The caffeine-addicted office workers begin a frenzied dance ("Coffee Break"). Finch feels frustrated at having been at the company for a whole week without discernible advancement. Through Rosemary, Finch meets Miss Jones, Biggley's secretary. He flatters her and makes sure to put in a bad word against Bud Frump.

Twimble, the head of the mailroom, is moving to the shipping department and must choose his successor. He explains to Finch that a lack of ambition, a fear of being fired and an absolute trust in the company's wisdom have kept him happily in the mailroom for 25 years ("The Company Way"). He announces that Finch is his choice to head the mailroom. Finch - as per the book's careful instructions - insists that Bud be given the job instead, for the good of the company. This impresses Twimble and Bratt, and Bratt offers Finch a job as a junior executive in the Plans and Systems Department, which is headed by Gatch. Realizing he has been outmaneuvered, Frump fumes.

Biggley arranges a secretarial job for his beautiful mistress, Hedy La Rue, formerly the cigarette girl at the Copa. Her entrance attracts the attention of all the men in the office, prompting Bratt to explain the office policy on flirting ("A Secretary is Not a Toy").

It is late Friday afternoon, the end of the work week. As they wait for the elevators, the secretaries complain of unwanted attention from their male bosses, while the men talk of sales figures. The ever-attentive Finch discovers that Mr. Biggley is a proud graduate of Old Ivy. He also learns Biggley will be returning to the office Saturday morning to retrieve his golf clubs for a game with Wally Womper, the Chairman of the Board. Rosemary arrives at the elevator with Smitty, who knows that despite their awkward silences, Rosemary and Finch like each other ("Been a Long Day"). Smitty recommends a dinner special for two at a nearby restaurant, and Rosemary and Finch decide to take advantage of it. After they leave, Bud Frump runs into Hedy and Biggley, who are arguing about her job. Bud surmises the nature of their relationship and threatens to tell his mother, Biggley's sister-in-law, if Biggley doesn't guarantee him a promotion (Reprise: "Been a Long Day"). Biggley is trapped and Frump, like Finch, is on his way up the corporate ladder.

It is Saturday morning. Finch, knowing Biggley is coming to retrieve his golf clubs, shows up at the office before Biggely arrives and creates a mess to suggest he has been working there all night. When Biggley arrives, Finch begins "absent-mindedly" humming Old Ivy's fight song, suggesting to Biggley that they are both Old Ivy graduates ("Grand Old Ivy").

Biggley demands Finch be given his own office and secretary. Bratt assigns Hedy La Rue to him. The book has warned him about just such inadequate secretarial help - Hedy has many skills, but typing and shorthand aren't among them. When Finch discovers Biggley is Hedy's sponsor, he sends her to Gatch on an errand, knowing Gatch will make a pass at her. Soon Finch is sitting at the desk of the now Venezuela-bound Gatch.

Rosemary hopes to win Finch over with her new dress, a Paris original, at the reception for new Advertising Department head Benjamin Burton Daniel Ovington. When she arrives at the party, Rosemary sees that every woman there is wearing the same dress ("Paris Original"). Hedy has too much to drink, and Biggley orders Bud to take her home.

Hedy goes up to Biggley's office to take a shower. As she showers, Bud tells Finch that Biggley is waiting to see him there. Bud goes off to find Biggley, hoping to trap Finch with Hedy. Hedy finds Finch in the office and makes a play for him, but when she kisses him he realizes he loves Rosemary, who enters as Hedy returns to the bathroom. Finch proposes to her ("Rosemary"). As Rosemary is about to accept, Hedy comes out of the bathroom in a towel. Rosemary angrily leaves the office, but returns to announce that Bud and Biggley are just outside the door. Hedy goes back into the bathroom, and Finch and Rosemary embrace as Biggley enters the room - Bud's plan is foiled. Bratt and Ovington enter, looking for Biggley. Ovington is forced to resign after Finch prompts him to reveal that his alma mater is the arch-rival of Old Ivy. Biggley then makes Finch Vice-President in Charge of Advertising, just in time for a big strategy meeting two days later. Biggley departs, leaving Finch and Rosemary alone again. They declare their love for each other as Bud vows to stop Finch's meteoric rise ("Finale - Act One").


ACT TWO

It is the morning of the big meeting. Rosemary, feeling neglected by Finch, has decided to quit. Smitty and the other women in the office convince her that she can't quit and remind her that she's living their dream of marrying an executive ("Cinderella, Darling").

Finch is quite pleased with his promotion, though the book sternly warns that this new advertising job is a dangerous position. However, as long as he already has the job, the book suggests that the one way to save his situation is to come up with a good idea. Unfortunately, Finch doesn't have one. The book forsees this and suggests that he steal someone else's. It is at this moment that Bud Frump approaches him with the idea for a televised treasure hunt. Delighted, Finch adopts the notion, unaware that Biggley has already heard the idea and shot it down. Finch tries the idea out on Rosemary, who responds by telling Finch she loves him (Reprise: "Happy to Keep His Dinner Warm").

Hedy, unhappy with her secretarial duties, announces to Biggley that she is quitting. Biggley pleads with her to stay ("Love From a Heart of Gold").

In the executive washroom, Bud assures the other executives that Finch's presentation will flop and end his rapid rise in the company. Finch enters and gives himself a pep talk before the meeting as he washes his hands ("I Believe in You").

Finch presents his idea for a televised treasure hunt/give-away: he will hide five thousand shares of company stock in each of the ten company offices around the country, and give the audience weekly clues as to their whereabouts. Biggley doesn't like the idea until Finch explains that each week's clue will be given by the scantily- dressed World Wide Wicket Treasure Girl, Hedy La Rue.

During the first television show, Hedy, as the Treasure Girl, is asked to swear on a Bible that she doesn't know the location of the treasure. She can't lie: the previous night Biggley told her the treasure is located in each of the ten company buildings - a fact she relates to the entire television audience.

Eager treasure hunters have wrecked the World Wide Wicket office, and the executives, including Chairman of the Board Wally Womper, are waiting in Biggley's office for Finch to appear to hand in his resignation. Rosemary, told by Finch that he'll probably have to go back to washing windows, assures him she'll still love him just as Bud arrives to take Finch up to the office.

Finch, about to sign his letter of resignation, reveals he was a window washer before coming to the company. This immediately draws the admiration and trust of Womper, also a former window washer. Finch adroitly places the blame for the give-away show on Bud. He also tells Womper that Bud is Biggley's nephew. Womper is about to fire all the executives when Finch convinces him to spare them, telling him that everybody is part of the human family ("Brotherhood of Man"). Bud Frump, however, is fired and escorted out of the office.

The show ends with the announcement to the employees that Biggley is still the president, that Womper is retiring to travel the world with his new wife, Hedy, and that the new Chairman of the Board is Finch. Finch calls Rosemary to his side as he starts to think about capturing the Presidency of the country. Outside, Bud Frump is seen on a window-washing scaffold, reading How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying ("Finale").

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CAST & CREATIVES
Creative
Producer BROADWAY ACROSS AMERICA, CRIAG ZALDAN, NEIL MERON, JOSEPH SMITH, MICHAEL McCABE, CANDY SPELLING
Direction ROB ASHFORD
Choreography ROB ASHFORD
Orchestrations DOUR BESTERMAN
Scenic Design DEREK McLANE
Costume Design CATHERINE ZUBEL
Lighting Design HOWELL BINKLEY
Sound Design JON WESTON
Cast
J. Pierrepont Finch DANIEL RADCLIFFE
Rosemary Pilkington ROSE HEMINGWAY
Bud Frump CHRISTOPHER J. HANKE
J.B. Biggley JOHN LARROQUETTE
Hedy La Rue TAMMY BLANCHARD
Miss Jones ELLEN HARVEY
Creative
Producer DODGER PRODUCTIONS, KARDANA PRODUCTIONS INC, THE JOHN F. KENNEDY CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS, THE NEDERLANDER ORGANIZATION
Direction DES McANUFF
Choreography WAYNE CILENTO
Orchestrations DANNY TROOB
Musical Director TED SPERLING
Scenic Design JOHN ARNONE
Costume Design SUSAN HILFERTY
Lighting Design HOWELL BINKLEY
Sound Design STEVE CANYON KENNEDY
Cast
J. Pierrepont Finch MATTHEW BRODERICK
Rosemary Pilkington MEGAN MULLALLY
Bud Frump JEFF BLUMENKRANTZ
J.B. Biggley RONN CAROLL
Bert Bratt JONATHAN FREEMAN
Smitty VICTORIA CLARK
Hedy La Rue LUBA MASON
Miss Jones LILLIAS WHITE
Mr. Twimble GERRY VICHI
Wally Womper GERRY VICHI
Creative
Producer FEUER AND MARTIN
Direction ABE BURROWS
Choreography BOB FOSSE
Orchestrations ROBERT GINZLER
Scenic Design ROBERT RANDOLPH
Costume Design ROBERT FLETCHER
Lighting Design ROBERT RANDOLPH
Cast
J. Pierrepont Finch ROBERT MORSE
Rosemary Pilkington BONNIE SCOTT
Bud Frump CHARLES NELSON REILLY
J.B. Biggley RUDY VALLEE
Bert Bratt PAUL REED
Smitty CLAUDETTE SUTHERLAND
Hedy La Rue VIRGINIA MARTIN
Miss Jones RUTH KOBART
Mr. Twimble SAMMY SMITH
Wally Womper SAMMY SMITH
MUSICAL NUMBERS
ACT ONE

How To (Succeed) J. Pierrepont Finch
Happy To Keep His Dinner Warm Rosemary Pilkington
Coffee Break Bud Frump, Smitty and Company
The Company Way J. Pierrepont Finch
The Company Way (Reprise) Bud Frump, Twimble and Company
A Secretary Is Not a Toy Bert Bratt and Company
Been a Long Day Rosemary Pilkington, J. Pierrepont Finch and Smitty
Been a Long Day (Reprise) J.B. Biggley, Hedy La Rue and Bud Frump
Grand Old Ivy J. Pierrepont Finch and J.B. Biggley
Paris Original Rosemary Pilkington, Smitty, Miss Jones, Miss Krumholtz and Company
Rosemary J. Pierrepont Finch and Rosemary Pilkington
Finaletto J. Pierrepont Finch, Rosemary Pilkington and Bud Frump


ACT TWO

How To (Succeed) (Reprise) Women, Smitty and Miss Krumholtz
Happy To Keep His Dinner Warm (Reprise) Rosemary Pilkington
Love From a Heart of Gold J.B. Biggley and Hedy La Rue
I Believe in You J. Pierrepont Finch, Bud Frump, Bert Bratt and Executives
The Yo Ho Ho (Pirate Dance) J.B. Biggley and Hedy La Rue
I Believe in You (Reprise) J. Pierrepont Finch and Men
Brotherhood of Man J. Pierrepont Finch, Miss Jones, Wally Womper and Company
Finale Company

Candide
Gigantic
Oklahoma!
SIGHTS & SOUNDS

1994 Broadway Production
2011 Broadway Production
Artworks/ Posters

Daniel Radcliffe and John Larroquette lead the Broadway revival company in a performance of 'Brotherhood Of Man' at the 2011 Tony Awards.
Daniel Radcliffe and company in a few excerpts from the 2011 Broadway revival in this promotional video.
Matthew Broderick leads the 1994 Broadway revival cast in a performance of 'Brotherhood of Man' at the Tony Awards.

How To Succeed Matthew Broderick & Company 1994 Broadway Cast Recording
Brotherhood of Man Daniel Radcliffe and Ensemble 2011 Broadway Cast Recording
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benj1124 benj1124

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