Augustana College's mew musical is the fizzy, funny, frenetic "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying," by Frank Loesser and Abe Burrows, in the Brunner Main Stage Theatre (3750 7th Ave., Rock Island) at 7:30 p.m. April 26-28 and May 3-4, and 1:30 p.m. on May 5.
The 1961 satire of big business and all it holds sacred, the show follows the rise of J. Pierrepont Finch, who uses the titular 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 office party, backstabbing coworkers, caffeine addiction and, of course, true love, according to a college release.
According to director Shelley Cooper, she and a cast and production crew of over 65 Augie students are “exploring the fact that there is truth in comedy, uncomfortable/awkward life moments, three-dimensional characters with interesting relationships, and an in-your-face, fast-paced, episodic structure; the show does not stop moving! We have been grappling with serious issues such as toxic masculinity in the work force, but how there is slight hope for change.”
"How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying" — which includes the songs "I Believe in You" and "The Brotherhood of Men" — won both the Tony Award for Best Musical and a 1962 Pulitzer Prize. The cast includes Augustana students Rami Halabi (1919) as Finch and Lauren Larson (’22) as Rosemary.
Tickets are $15 for the general public, $12 for senior citizens and Augustana faculty/staff, $10 for students and children, and free for Auguie students with ID. Tickets can be purchased at 309-794-7306 or augustana.edu/tickets.