How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying

Music & Lyrics: Frank Loesser

Book: Abe Burrows

How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying tells the story of J. Pierpont Finch, a window washer at the World Wide Wicket Company. But the ambitious, young Finch is not content to remain a window washer forever. He has discovered a life-changing book entitled How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, and certain that this particular guide is his ticket to success, he devours it ravenously. Following the book's instructions, Finch soon lands a job in the mailroom and catches the eye of a pretty young secretary named Rosemary. With the help of his instruction manual, Finch stages a miraculous climb up the corporate ladder: from the mailroom to junior executive in Plans and Systems to Head of Plans and Systems to Vice President in charge of Advertising, all the while outwitting his enemies, particularly Bud Frump, the jealous nephew of J.B. Biggley, the president of the company. At each step along the way, Finch's instruction manual seems to predict Frump's back-stabbing plans before they develop, but when Finch is tricked into backing a disastrous ad campaign, the handy how-to guide suddenly runs out of ideas, and the former window washer will have to rely on his own wits if he wants to salvage his job!

How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying opened at the 46th Street Theatre on October 14, 1961 with a cast that featured Robert Morse (Finch), Rudy Vallée (Biggley), Bonnie Scott (Rosemary), Charles Nelson Reilly (Frump), and Virginia Martin (Hedy). The production enjoyed a run of 1,417 performances and went on to win the Pulitzer Prize for drama. Morse and Vallée reprised their roles in the 1967 film version. A Broadway revival featuring Matthew Broderick opened at the Richard Rodgers Theatre on March 23, 1995 and ran for 548 performances.


Cast Albums  |  Sheet Music  |  The Movie  |  Posters


Cast Albums

Sheet Music

The Movie


Related Sites

American Theatre Index

Related Musicals

Guys and Dolls

Most Happy Fella

Moonstruck Drama Bookstore  |  Theatre News  |  Theatre Links  |  Email Us