Back in 1995, I drove down to the La Jolla Playhouse in San Diego to see the pre-Broadway tryout of a musical. It's was the revival of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, which starred Matthew Broderick making his stage musical debut. He was terrific, and when the show went on to Broadway, he won the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical.
This is the full production. The video quality is a little washed out and mostly long shots, but it's generally very watchable, and zooms in enough to be reasonably focused.
A couple of fun notes.
First, at the beginning of the show you'll hear a narrator reading out loud from the "How To" book that Broderick's character is reading -- and continues at different spots throughout the story. It's pre-recorded, and the voice is a bit muffled, but if you listen closely it should be recognizable -- it's Walter Cronkite.
And second, there are no other big name stars in the shows, but I liked that in the supporting role of 'Rosemary," who is Broderick's would-be girlfriend, the actress was a graduate of the beloved Northwestern University. She's a bit better known today, though, than back then. The young actress actress in Megan Mullally. The voice will be eminently clear. And she's wonderful.
I've marked down a few of the song highlights, in case you want to jump to them, rather than watch the full two hours, though that's worth it.
0:00 -- How To (Matthew Broderick and Walter Cronkite)
8:00 -- Happy to Keep His Dinner Warm (Megan Mullaly)
23:00 -- Company Way
42:15 Been a Long Day (Broderick and Mullaly)
51:30 Grand Old Ivy
1:39:00 I Believe in You
2:03:00 Brotherhood of Man (Actually, the full scene begins at 1:59:44 with Walter Cronkite. Also, watching this confirmed a memory I've had since 1995 and wondered if I was recalling correctly. It was how barebones the number was staged, to the extent that it struck me at the time as if they are having this big, important company meeting in the lobby, which is a bizarre place for it. But there it is, at the bottom of the escalator. So, it strikes me that my memory was correct. It does seem like it's the lobby -- and that's a bizarre place for the scene.)
2:13:00 -- Finale
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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