LENOX — The classic 1961 Broadway musical "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying" is the marquee attraction for the theater arts program at Lenox Memorial Middle and High School this week.
A cast of 45 high school students will take the stage at the Duffin Theater for four performances of the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning show, beginning Thursday at 7 p.m. Additional shows are Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m., and a Sunday matinee at 2 p.m.
In the lead role of J. Pierrepont Finch, who rises from window washer at the World Wide Wicket Company to chairman of the board in two weeks, is senior Connor McNinch. The production, directed by theater arts teacher and well-known Berkshires actor Ralph Petillo, features choreography by LMMHS graduate Leah Haskell. Two other recent graduates — Maddie Shepardson and Ben Finley — are handling lighting and set design.
In a news release, Petillo extolled the cast as "one of the most talented ever from LMMHS."
He also cited the cooperation and support of the administration and faculty, noting that rehearsals were scheduled around students' basketball, cross-country and downhill skiing commitments.
One-third of the class of 2016 was involved in the production, Petillo pointed out.
"How to Succeed " features music and lyrics by Frank Loesser, one of Broadway's most celebrated composers, and book by Abe Burrows, Jack Weinstock, and Willie Gilbert. The satirical romance is based on Shepherd Mead's 1952 novel of the same name.
The original production, which garnered seven Tony awards, ran for 1,417 performances from 1961 to 1965, starring Robert Morse and Rudy Vallee, with musical staging by Bob Fosse. The two stars reunited for the 1967 film version of the musical. Two major revivals had extended runs on Broadway in 1995-96 and 2011-12.
Admission to the LMMHS performances is $10 for the general public, $5 for students.
What: Hit Broadway musical "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying."
Where: Lenox Memorial Middle and High School, Duffin Theater, 197 East St., Lenox.
When: Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7; Sunday at 2.
Admission: $10 (students $5).