LHS students ‘succeed’ on stage

By Jeff Gates For The Madison Press

March 12, 2014

A seemingly effortless ascent to the top.

It’s important to remember that when climbing the corporate ladder, you can’t be afraid of heights.

The young actors of London High School take their talents from the classroom to the boardroom as they all deserve promotions for their presentation of “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.” The show, under the direction of Teri Gray, will be on stage tomorrow, Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m., as well as a 2 p.m. matinee on Saturday. Gray is aided by Assistant Director Melinda Scott, Staging Director Brynne Mayne, Choreographer Jessica Berick, Student Stage Manager Kate Lambert, Accompanist Shannon Treynor, as well as a bevy of parent volunteers led by Sheri Spahn and Lynette Salazar.

The musical centers around ambitious exterior glass enhancer (aka window washer) Pierrepont Finch and his quest to achieve corporate success. Aided by a book which serves as his conscience in businesslike fashion, Finch puts himself on the fast track to high reward.

As one of the gems of the show, Jack Spahn is splendid as the charismatic overachiever. Spahn will charm the audience as much as Finch hypnotizes the employees of the World Wide Wicket Company with his suave demeanor and complimentary style.

Another gem of the show, Bailee Mayne is lovely as Rosemary, the one thing that causes the driven Finch to pause. Combining boy-crazy sweetness with the right touch of attitude, Mayne leaves her mark in her final show.

The Spahn-Mayne chemistry is essential to the show as they team for several fine moments, including the enlightening “Been a Long Day (with Elena Richardson).”

Garrett Stout demonstrates his versatility as an actor as Bud Frump, the musical’s anti-Finch. Another gem of the show, Stout’s Jerry Lewis-esque slap-stick moves as the quintessential mama’s boy are hilarious.

As the final of a quartet of senior gems for the show, Delaney Hill is sure to slither her way into the collective audience heart as the vivacious Hedy. Like a mermaid swishing from one spot to the next on stage, Hill gives quite a memorable performance.

James George soars as the company leader JB Biggley, showing the contrast of the crusty boss with that of a yarn-loving groundhog. One of the show’s top moments is when George and Spahn team for the campy “Grand Old Ivy.”

Looking like she dove head-first right into the 1960s secretarial pool, Elena Richardson is a petite powerhouse as Smitty, the personnel manager’s secretary. Showing tremendous expressions, Richardson is sure to be an audience pleaser.

In supporting roles, Hayden Conley offers stellar credentials as personnel manager Bratt, Adam Throckmorton really delivers as mailroom leader Twimble, Sarah Case shows the tough, but kind-hearted Miss Jones is right down her alley, Kyle Weese’s Gatch shows how being a ladies’ man can make you a world traveler, and Elizabeth Bennett is contagiously-enthusiastic as Miss Krumholtz. Deserving special mention is Dravin McClain as the book voice.

The success of a musical hinges on the performance of the ensemble, and this group is up to the task. From bee-hived secretaries to spectacled executives to television announcers to would-be pirates, the chorus provides many fine moments. The group particularly shines in the caffeine-charged “Coffee Break,” and the reflective tales of the executive washroom in “I Believe In You.”

The choreography shines through in such memorable numbers as “A Secretary is Not a Toy” and “Brotherhood of Man.”

From the colorful costumes to the terrific Dr. Mitchell Spahn-designed set, the show all comes together with a talented orchestra.

Come join the young London High School actors as they proudly share with you their successful performance.