EVANSTON, IL – Music Theater Works presents the Pulitzer Prize-winning musical HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS WITHOUT REALLY TRYING at Cahn Auditorium in Evanston, June 8 through June 16, 2019.
Pierrepont Finch climbs the corporate ladder from lowly window washer to high-powered executive…tackling such dangers as the aggressively compliant “company man”, the office party, backstabbing coworkers, caffeine addiction, and of course, true love.
With the hit songs, I Believe in You, The Brotherhood of Man, Grand Old Ivy, and Company Way.
HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS WITHOUT REALLY TRYINGis directed by Music Theater Works artistic director Rudy Hogenmiller, conducted by Roger L. Bingaman and choreographed by Clayton Cross.
The cast includes Ken Singleton (J. Pierrepont Finch), Rick Rapp (J.B. Biggley), Nancy Hays (Hedy LaRue), Jake Stempel (Bud Frump), Nicole Armold (Rosemary Pilkington) and Liz Norton (Miss Jones) and National radio personality Peter Sagal as “The Voice.”
The design/production team is Christopher Rhoton and Shane Cinal (co-scenic designer), Sanja Manakoski (costumedesigner), Andrew H. Meyers (lighting designer), Aaron Quick (sound designer), Alice Salazar (Hair and Make-up), Bob Stilton (Props designer), Madeline M. Scott (stage manager) and Jim Davis (production manager).
The opening night reception for HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS WITHOUT REALLY TRYINGis sponsored by Farmhouse Evanston.
HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS WITHOUT REALLY TRYING is Music Theater Works’ first production of 2019. The season will continue with THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME (August 17-25), LERNER AND LOEWE’S GREATEST HITS (October 4-13) and JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT (December 21-31).
Discounted season ticket packages are still available.
Ticket prices for HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS WITHOUT REALLY TRYING begin at $34. Ages 25 and younger are half price. To order tickets, or for more information, call the Music Theater Works box office at (847) 920-5360 or order online 24 hours a day at www.MusicTheaterWorks.com
Director/Music Director/Choreographer Biographies
RUDY HOGENMILLER (Director), artistic director of Music Theater Works, has directed and choreographed many productions for the company including INTO THE WOODS, ANYTHING GOES, THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE, PETER PAN, DUKE ELLINGTON’S GREATEST HITS, GYPSY, CANDIDE, DIE FLEDERMAUS, LET ME ENTERTAIN YOU: JULE STYNE’S GREATEST HITS, MAME, MY FAIR LADY, GUYS AND DOLLS, SOUTH PACIFIC, THE FANTASTICKS, THE MERRY WIDOW, COLE PORTER’S GREATEST HITS, FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, ANNIE GET YOUR GUN, H.M.S. PINAFORE, OLIVER!, MAN OF LA MANCHA, CAMELOT, BRIGADOON, HELLO, DOLLY!, THE YEOMEN OF THE GUARD, A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC, KISS ME, KATE, SOUTH PACIFIC, THE MIKADO and THE SOUND OF MUSIC. He has directed and choreographed for many other companies, including Northlight Theatre, Chamber Opera Chicago, Pegasus Players, Theatre at the Center and Marriott Theatre. Hogenmiller was seen on our stage in 2014 as Mr. Applegate in DAMN YANKEES, and as the Emcee in CABARET in 2013. He has been recognized with six Joseph Jefferson Awards and 17 nominations for best direction and choreography in Chicago, and has been a member of the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers for more than 35 years.
ROGER L. BINGAMAN (Music Director and Conductor) made his first appearance on the Music Theater Works podium in 1997, conducting THE MERRY WIDOW. Since then he has conducted many productions, including INTO THE WOODS, ANYTHING GOES, PETER PAN, GYPSY, CANDIDE, DIE FLEDERMAUS, MAME, MY FAIR LADY, SOUTH PACIFIC, THE FANTASTICKS, CABARET, FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, ANNIE GET YOUR GUN, H.M.S. PINAFORE, OLIVER!, CAMELOT, THE STUDENT PRINCE, BRIGADOON, HELLO, DOLLY!, CAROUSEL, and THE YEOMEN OF THE GUARD. Bingaman has been director of the apprentice program and chorus master for the Sarasota Opera since 1998.
CLAYTON CROSS (Choreographer) choreographed INTO THE WOODS, ANYTHING GOES, THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE, PETER PAN, GYPSY, CANDIDE, MAME, MY FAIR LADY and GUYS AND DOLLS at Music Theater Works, where he also played Tulsa in GYPSY, the Mute in THE FANTASTICKS and was a featured dancer in DAMN YANKEES. Cross served for five years as artistic advisor, board member and choreographer for Renegade Dance Architects, and continues to consult and contribute choreography to the Capitol One Bowl’s ALL AMERICAN HALFTIME SHOW. He is a master teacher for M.A. Dance, a Texas-based traveling convention circuit, where he has worked and judged for the past 17 years. Throughout his 20-year career as a dancer, Cross has worked with Robert Battle, Fernando Bujones, Frank Chaves, Paul Taylor and Ann Reinking. He was featured in EVERY DANCER HAS A STORY, a PBS special about the River North Chicago Dance Company, where he was a company member for nine seasons and toured nationally and internationally. Originally from Midland, Texas, Cross received his early training from La Petite Dance Company, Coleman Academy, and the Midland Community Theatre. He holds a BFA in ballet and modern dance from Texas Christian University.
KEN SINGLETON (Finch) returns to Music Theater Works, where he was seen last season as Billy Crocker in ANYTHING GOES. Recent credits include BRIGHT STAR (Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma), LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS (Drury Lane Theatre), OKLAHOMA!, RAGTIME, THE EMPEROR’S NEW CLOTHES (Marriott Theatre), MARIE CHRISTINE (Bohemian Ensemble Theatre), THE MOST HAPPY FELLA (Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre), CAROUSEL, ROCK OF AGES, MARY POPPINS, TITANIC, GASLIGHT (Timber Lake Playhouse), HANDS ON A HARDBODY, JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR and NEXT TO NORMAL (Keystone Repertory Theater).
RICK RAPP (Biggley) makes his 10th appearance with Music Theater Works. Last season, he was Elijah Whitney in ANYTHING GOES: other favorite roles include Hucklebee in THE FANTASTICKS, Lazar Wolf in FIDDLER ON THE ROOF and Coach Van Buren in DAMN YANKEES. Rick has appeared several times at Theater at the Center, where he will be seen in THE PAJAMA GAME later this year. Rick is the voice of Mr. Monopoly for online gaming. A retired English and theatre teacher, one of Rick’s greatest passions is his work with Habitat for Humanity. In addition to local projects, he has completed 12 international builds (most recently in Bolivia), and will head to Thailand after the show closes for another.
NICOLE ARMOLD (Rosemary) returns to Music Theater Works where she was last seen in THE MERRY WIDOW. Recent Chicago credits include the title role in MARY POPPINS, Catherine in PIPPIN, Susan in COMPANY, Martha in THE CHRISTMAS SCHOONER (Mercury Theater), RIDE THE CYCLONE, SENSE AND SENSIBILITY (Chicago Shakespeare Theater) and INTO THE WOODS (Metropolis Performing Arts Centre). She received her BFA in Musical Theatre from the Chicago College of Performing Arts and is represented by Stewart Talent.
JAKE STEMPEL (Bud Frump) is making his Music Theater Works debut. A graduate of Emerson College with a BFA in Musical Theatre, his credits include NICE WORK IF YOU CAN GET IT (Theatre at the Center) THE BARDY BUNCH (Mercury Theater), THE TOTAL BENT (Haven Theatre in association with About Face Theatre), THE DROWSY CHAPERONE (Metropolis Performing Arts Centre), LA BOHÈME (Lyric Opera of Chicago) and GYPSY (Williams Street Repertory).
MICHAEL SWISHER (Bratt) appeared with Music Theater Works in BRIGADOON, IOLANTHE and MAME. Around Chicago, he has played leading baritone roles in 13 of Gilbert and Sullivan’s 14 operettas, his favorites being the Mikado, the Pirate King and Sir Roderick (RUDDIGORE) in 38 productions. Other favorite roles include Billy Bigelow in CAROUSEL, Fred in KISS ME, KATE, Sarastro in THE MAGIC FLUTE and the Proprietor in Sondheim’s ASSASSINS.
MAISIE ROSE (Smitty) returns to Cahn Auditorium, where she performed as a Northwestern University student. This is her Music Theater Works debut. Her credits include HAIRSPRAY (Tracy) at Skylight Music Theatre, PINKALICIOUS (Pinkalicious) at Northbrook Theatre, SEUSSICAL at Drury Lane Theatre, NUMBERS NERDS at the New York Musical Festival, and shows with Porchlight Music Theatre, Kokandy Productions, and Refuge Theatre Project. Maisie is represented by DDO Artists Agency Chicago.
NANCY HAYS (Hedy LaRue) returns to Music Theater Works where she was seen in the title role of MAME, and as Ruth in THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE. Other credits include Amanda Wingfield in THE GLASS MENAGERIE, Rose in GYPSY at JPAC, and Judy Garland in THE BOY FROM OZ with Pride Film and Plays. Nancy appeared as Garland in ONCE IN A LIFETIME, JUDY & LIZA AT THE LONDON PALLADIUM in Chicago and New York. Nancy has worked as a concert opening act for Tommy Tune, George Burns and many others. She recorded five albums and toured the UK five times with her original music, and her song, “Come Dance with Me” is an international hit. Nancy has made numerous television appearances, including salsa dancing with Mario Lopez on national television.
KIRK SWENK (Twimble / Womper) has long experience in the theater as a performer, director, technician and more. He returns to Music Theater Works, where he has been seen in DAMN YANKEES (Joe), THE FANTASTICKS (Bellomy), SOUTH PACIFIC (Brackett), GUYS AND DOLLS (Arvide), MY FAIR LADY (Pickering) and MAME (Upson).
LIZ NORTON (Miss Jones) debuted with Music Theater Works as Mrs. Harcourt in ANYTHING GOES last year. Other Chicago area appearances include GRAND HOTEL (Kokandy Productions), A NEW BRAIN (Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre) MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG (Porchlight Music Theatre) and LA CAGE AUX FOLLES (Marriott Theatre). In the Milwaukee area, she was seen in THE WIZARD OF OZ, INTO THE WOODS, THE SOUND OF MUSIC (Skylight Music Theatre), DEAR WORLD, PAL JOEY (Boulevard Theatre), HELLO, DOLLY! (Sunset Playhouse), COMPANY (Lake Country Playhouse) and FOLLIES (Soulstice Theatre).
PETER SAGAL (The Voice of the Narrator) is the host of the Peabody Award-winning NPR news quiz WAIT, WAIT…DON’T TELL ME!, heard by over four million listeners each week. He is also a playwright, a screenwriter, and the author of the new memoir, THE INCOMPLETE BOOK OF RUNNING. An avid runner, Sagal has completed 15 (and counting) marathons across the United States. He lives near Chicago with his wife and two dogs, DeeDee and Dutchie.
Music Theater Works (formerly Light Opera Works) is a resident professional not-for-profit theater in Evanston, founded in 1980. The company’s mission is to produce and present musical theater from a variety of world traditions. All productions are presented in English, with foreign works done in carefully edited modern translations. Maximum scholarship is employed to preserve the original vocal and orchestral material as well as the spirit of the original text whenever possible. Audiences know that at Music Theater Works they will experience repertoire often unavailable on the stages of commercial theaters and opera houses, in modern productions with professional artists and full orchestra.
Music Theater Works’ mission is to produce and present musical theater from a variety of world traditions, to engage the community through educational and outreach programs, and to train artists in musical theater.