DBH and I caught the preview of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying at the Porchlight Music Theater in Chicago. We'd both seen the original production in the early '60s with Robert Morse, Rudy Vallee and Charles Nelson Riley. And we still enjoy rewatching the movie with Robert Morse and Rudy Vallee.
Porchlight's production was fun, exuberant and malicious. Just as you would expect if Mad Men was made into a musical comedy. Everything is played over the top, with songs that had the audience standing and singing along as The Brotherhood of Man wrapped up the performance. If you follow this blog, you know that musical theater, especially produced in small venues is a favorite of mine. How to Succeed was produced in a theater seating at most 150, with a thrust stage, so we were wrapped around the actors.
My only nagging comment concerns miking the performers. The horns and woodwinds, which were also miked, were consistently above the singers. And to fix the problem, it appeared that the sound designed just made both louder...This is a very small theater. I would love to hear the production with no mikes, or with sound designed by a technician who understands that louder is usually not better.
Yummmmmm, this fall Porchlight is mounting Sweeney Todd. Can't wait to see the bodies fall into the basement and the pies go into the oven while Mrs. Lovett and Toby sing God, That's Good.