Broadway veteran Felicia Finley (Mamma Mia!) is not usually in a lot of classic musicals, she says. "I'm more modern rock and roll." But when Theatre Under the Stars started looking for someone to play Hedy LaRue in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, they thought of Finley because she's done a lot of comedy.
And for her part, Finley was ready to take on the roll of the boss's mistress and new company secretary because this Pulitzer Prize-winning comedy about a lowly window washer — J. Pierrepont Finch — who successfully climbs to the top of the corporate ladder was on her bucket list.
"She's a really fun character. She's not very smart. I think she thinks she’s smarter than she is," says Finley of Hedy. "And she’s well aware of her assets. And she uses that to her advantage."
The boss is named J.B. Biggley, and they all work in the offices of the World Wide Wicket Company. Based on a 1952 book, the musical first opened in 1961 and pinpoints a time when “the women are all secretaries and the men are all in the offices,” Finley says.
Actors in the cast have some pretty solid résumés. For example: Ashley Blanchet (Beautiful on Broadway) is playing Rosemary Pilkington; Chris Dwan (Neverland on Broadway) is J. Pierrepont Finch; Kevin C. Loomis (Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark and Inherit The Wind, all on Broadway) will be playing the roles Mr. Twimble/Wally Womper; and Joshua Morgan ( Les Misérables on Broadway) plays Bud Frump.
One-liners abound and are dealt out as fast as Finch's upward scramble as he flits (like a bird) from job to job. Despite some of the dated concepts, Finley promises plenty of hilarity. “It has a swagger to it; it’s savvy.”
Performances are scheduled for October 25 through November 6 at 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, 8 p.m. Fridays, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturdays, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Sundays at the Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. For information, call 713-558-8887 or visit tuts.com. $38.50 to $125.