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Published: Wednesday, March 28, 2012, 12:32 p.m.

The musical "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying" rises to the top

Let's hope this particular J. Pierrepont Finch is going places, such as on stage again and again for our local community theater scene.

The Finch I'm talking about here is James Frasca, who is playing the ambitious and charming Finch in the musical “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” performing through this weekend at Historic Everett Theatre.

Frasca brought a bounty of talent to the stage in a very buoyant, Ferris Bueller sort of way that helped make this classic a pleasure to watch.

Frasca performed locally here in “Once Upon a Mattress” and now “How to Succeed” so obviously a pattern is forming and all I can say is “Encore.”

Frasca shone as an actor and singer, shining in such numbers as “Been a Long Day” and “Grand Old Ivy.”

Though Frasca was the adorable star of the show, my other favorite was Smitty, played by EmilyRose Frasca, a local Seattle actress who can grace our stages anytime she wants.

EmilyRose, married to James, bursts out on stage – all fiery red hair and spunk – and is captivating. And hilarious. And she has a powerful set of lungs, put to wonderful use throughout this production.

She's a kick.

OK. I have a third favorite in this show.

That would be local community actor veteran Michael McFadden, who is good in just about everything he does but was spot on here as J.B. Biggley, the somewhat sleezy yet likeable boss.

Biggley is the boss of the World Wide Wicket Company. It's the 1950s and J. Pierrepont Finch starts out as a window washer for the company but wants to rise to the top. Finch reads from a “How to” book throughout the production, takes the author's advise and moves up the company ladder.

Finch is so busy climbing that it takes him awhile to notice Rosemary, a secretary who is drawn to Finch's ambition but who will ultimately love Finch no matter what.

And the “what” does happen. Finch gets in over his head and is headed for the exit door. In the end, with the help from a plot twist or two and the toe-tapping “Brotherhood,” Finch prevails.

This Northwest Savoyards/Trinity Lutheran Church production was solidly directed by Scott Randall with classy art-deco set design by Tim Sauke, the co-producer. The sound continues to be a challenge at Historic Everett but that hurdle is largely overcome by this great cast and ensemble and the magical musical direction of Josh Zimmerman.

“How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” is at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 2:30 p.m. Sundays through April 1 at Historic Everett Theatre, 2911 Colby Ave., Everett. Tickets are $23.50 adults and $20.50 for students, seniors and military. Tickets may be purchased in person or 425-258-6766 - or online at Etix.
Story tags » TheaterEverett

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