Santa Barbara High School Theatre Captures a musical bygone Era in Business in its Spring Production

  (L to R) In How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Ciara Tolliver plays Rosemary Pilkington, Aaron Linker as J. Pierrepont Finch and Camille Umoff as Hedy LaRue. Photo Courtesy of Beau Lettieri.

(L to R) In How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Ciara Tolliver plays Rosemary Pilkington, Aaron Linker as J. Pierrepont Finch and Camille Umoff as Hedy LaRue. Photo Courtesy of Beau Lettieri.

The World-Wide Wicket Company takes center stage in this Pulitzer Prize- and Grammy Award-winning musical about a young window cleaner, J. Pierrepont Finch, played by Aaron Linker, who, after reading a book titled “How to Succeed in Business,” begins a meteoric rise from the mailroom to the vice presidency of advertising. Directed by Otto Layman, with choreography by Christina McCarthy and musical direction by Jon Nathan, the Santa Barbara High School Theatre production opens May 1 with performances through May 11. With a book by Abe Burrows, Jack Weinstock and Willie Gilbert, based on Shepherd Mead’s satirical self-help book of the same name, the action and transactions are set against a familiar and beloved score by Frank Loesser, including “I Believe in You,” “The Company Way,” “Been a Long Day” and “Rosemary,” to name a few. And throughout Finch’s rise to business stardom with the World-Wide Wicket Company, his unorthodox and morally questionable business practices jeopardize not only his career, but also his romance with secretary Rosemary Pilkington, played by Ciara Tolliver. Also featured are Nick Blondell as J.B. Biggley, Grant Bowers as Bud Frump and Camille Umoff as Hedy LaRue in this critically acclaimed musical that opened on Broadway in 1961 and played for 1,417 performances starring Robert Morse as Finch; and returned to Broadway in a 1995 revival staring Matthew Broderick as Finch. Contributing talent to the SBHS production is vocal direction by Brent Wilson, costume design by Bonnie Thor, set/light design by Mike Madden, technical direction by David Guy and stage management by Beau Lettieri. The featured band for the production is the UCSB Jazz Ensemble, which is comprised entirely of UCSB students. Performances are May 1, 2, 8, 9 and 10 at 7 p.m. and on May 11 at 2 p.m. a special Mother’s Day closing ceremony honoring graduate theatre students, and both mothers and graduates will be admitted free. SBHS Theatre, 700 E. Anapamu St. For tickets at $15 adults, $10 students and $25 orchestra seating, call 966-9109 ext. 220.