How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying

Original Broadway Cast Recording

Music & Lyrics by: Frank Loesser

Distributed by: Masterworks Broadway

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


            How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying began as a bestselling book by Shepherd Meade published in 1952.  In 1961, after many different adaptations were written, the book was finally adapted into a Broadway musical featuring a story by Abe Burrows, Jack Weinstock and Willie Gilbert and music and lyrics by Frank Loesser Robert Morse starred as J. Pierpont Finch, a window washer who falls into a job with the World Wide Wickets company.  While working to climb the corporate ladder, he falls in love with his secretary, Rosemary (Bonnie Scott), who has been smitten with Finch since his days as a window washer.  When everything begins to crumble around Finch, he realizes that success and power aren’t all that they are cracked up to be and is willing to give it all away for love and happiness.

            The original Broadway cast featured Robert Morse, Bonnie Scott, Rudy Vallee, Charles Nelson Reilly, Claudette Sutherland and more.  The Original Broadway Cast Recording of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying was recently re-released in eco-friendly packaging by Masterworks Broadway. 

            The music found in How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying features drama, comedy and romance ala Broadway style.  The songs are quite easy to learn and the music is enjoyable.  More importantly, the storyline of the musical is one that, although written decades ago, anyone can relate to in this day and age.  In this cut-throat age of business, all the same rules of engagement still apply as do the stresses involved in just trying to keep your position in a company. 

            One of my favorite songs on this soundtrack is Coffee Break - “No coffee!…There’s no coffee!!!!…If I can’t have my coffee break…something inside me dies.”  Who can’t relate to that?  I know I sure can - if I haven’t had my morning coffee, things just don’t seem right and working is all the more difficult without it.  Another favorite is The Company Way, a song about towing the company line at the risk of losing yourself.  Who doesn’t know the “Company Man” at their job?  He’s the “Yes Man”, the guy who will do whatever the boss wants him to, swearing all along that this is the right way of doing things even though everyone else knows it’s wrong.  He never poses his own ideas for there is no way he will ever rock the boat.  I also loved Paris Original in which Rosemary, trying to make a great impression on Finch, buys an expensive dress, an original…or so the salesman says.  As it turns out, every other woman at the party thought they were buying an original, too, and everyone walks in wearing the same dress.  Hysterical!

            Prior to receiving this soundtrack from Masterworks Broadway, I had never heard of How to Succeed in Business Without Even Trying.  Now, you’ll find me singing its praises, relating the tale to my co-workers.  I even find myself singing the songs every so often…especially when there’s no time to get my coffee in the morning.  How to Succeed in Business Without Even Trying is a fun musical with an important message to impart on all those corporate workers out there.  Fans of Broadway musicals will definitely not want to miss the Original Broadway Cast Recording of How to Succeed in Business Without Even Trying.


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