By Grace Billok
On a Wednesday night in mid-March, the Saratoga Springs High School Drama Club performed their final dress rehearsal for 2019’s spring musical How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.
How to Succeed follows J. Pierrepont Finch (played by junior Liam Epstein) in his quest to—naturally—succeed in business. Finch begins as a window washer with big dreams but climbs the corporate ladder of World Wide Wickets with the help of a book (voiced by freshman Ethan Crowley) and the loving support of secretary Rosemary Pilkington (senior Alyce Sinnott). “It’s very special to see his [Finch’s] love for Rosemary progress during the show, even when he doesn’t realize that there is a connection,” says Epstein.
How to Succeed’s two-and-a-half-hour runtime makes this one of the club’s longer shows. The additional content failed to throw director Bob Berenis, choreographer Leigh Berenis, and music director Casey Gray off their game, producing a show of excellent caliber.
While enjoying the impressive performance, audience members may find themselves uncomfortably helpless during a few “outdated” scenes—the show originally opened in 1961—that have not been exposed to the recent #MeToo movement. The song “A Secretary is Not a Toy” and a line change from a repeated, “So I said just keep your hands where they belong,” to, “So what the hell, I’m having dinner with him” allow the audience to ask themselves: where should the line be drawn with classical shows?
Between this analysis, the upbeat songs, brightly colored décor, and, according to Epstein, a “cunning, manipulative,” and “ambitious” leading man, How to Succeed is well worth a watch.
Performances are March 14th at 7pm, 15th at 7:30pm, and 16th at 1pm and 7:30pm. Tickets can be purchased at the door: $12 for adults and $7 for students and seniors.