The food is delicious, the staff hilarious and the audience is fully primed by the time the curtain goes up.
A simple set with a revolving door, glass office front and an elevator provide the backdrop to the high-stepping fun that centers around J. Pierpont Finch, an aspiring window washer who plans to climb to the top of the corporate ladder via the guide book "How to Succeed in Business."
Well-known voice talent Spence Kinnard is the voice of "the book" with Troy Teeples taking the lead as Finch.
Teeples' vocal and acting work is developing its own reputation. He was the Beast in the LHS 2005 production "Beauty and the Beast" and brings his own brand of conniving innocence to his role as Finch.
From the moment he steps on stage he has the audience in the palm of his hand. His interpretation of Finch is clean, uncompromised, true and steady.
Finch is a man of vision, conviction and a ton of luck/inspiration. And as anchored as he is in the world of business, he's also appropriately confused about matters of the heart.
A complex character, Teeples brings him full circle with such an honest portrayal that when he cuts loose in the tender comedic number "Rosemary" he maintains his grip on the audience as well as the women on stage.
Nicole Franc is the patient, supportive Rosemary, with beautiful vocals and just the right amount of spunk to counter Finch. Jacob Slater is J.P. Biggley, the stereotypical commander-in-chief of World Wide Widgets. He is authoritative and womanizing.
Stefanie Franc is the steamy temptress Hedy LaRue the near undoing of not only Finch and Biggley, but the company as well. Bud Frump is played to perfection by Brody Horton, who takes his character as Biggley's spoiled nephew to grand heights with defiance and tantrums that endear him to the audience while allowing him to be the perfect scapegoat to Finch's ambition. Jordan Love who plays board director Bratt was excellent, commanding a clear presence though he was on stage the least of any character.
Carissa Klitgaard is Ms. Jones, Biggley's straight-shooting personal assistant who really carries the weight of running the corporation. Shirrel Cooper is hilarious as Smitty, Rosemary's confident and friend. Cooper plays her with a level of subtle power underlining the important role these secretaries play in the weaving together of a corporation.
Even the cleaning women get into the act and the unnamed actress who played the lead cleaning woman was over-the-edge perfect in her offbeat character.
Every vocalist in the double-cast show is stellar, making for a delicious harmony in the ensemble and duet numbers. One of the best numbers of the show was the gospel-style male vocals in the familiar "Brotherhood of Man." The men pulled out all the stops and the audience rewarded them with wild applause.
Worthy of a much larger stage and definitely a longer run, "How to Succeed in Business" continues May 18-20 at LHS, 440 Lancer Lane, Layton, near Surf 'n' Swim.
Tickets are $12 per person and are available by calling the school's business office at 402-4800.