MARQUETTE - Negaunee High School students are getting ready for "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying," their big musical production of the year,
The musical is a comedy about a man who takes instructions from a book and puts them into practice to climb the corporate ladder. J. Pierrepont Finch, played by Tyler Thomas, starts off in mailroom a corporation's mailroom and works his way up to chairman of the board over the course of a couple of weeks. The show was picked by director Connie Lindblom who said she chose this musical because 2013's show was a more serious one.
"I've always like this show. I knew that we had some particular students who would really shine in some of these roles," Lindblom said.
The cast of 'How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying' rehearses the opening scene of the musical Thursday at Negaunee High School’s Auditorium. (Journal photo by Adelle Whitefoot)
Dana DeBretto, 16, rehearses her role as Rosemary Pilkington. (Journal photo by Adelle Whitefoot)
Tyler Thomas rehearses his role as J. Pierrepont Finch. (Journal photo by Adelle Whitefoot)
Between the cast and crew there are about 50 students participating in the production. The cast has been rehearsing since late January. Lindblom said there have been some interruptions, but she feels good about how things are going.
"We've had some interruptions like Negaunee going to state semi-finals in basketball and we have players, cheerleaders and of course all of the students who wanted to go," she said.
Lindblom added so far the hardest part has been working around the students' schedules because they are busy and have many demands on their time between sports, jobs, family and school work.
"Everything needs a slice of their time," she said. "But really the kids are good and they are talented. The dance has really shocked me. Eliisa (Gladwell) has really challenged them with some serious dancing and they are completely up to the task."
Junior Dana DeBretto, who plays Rosemary Pilkington, said the most challenging part for her has been learning the dances, but Gladwell has been helping her.
"I'm not very coordinated. There's a lot of dances that I have to learn," DeBretto said. "I've been practicing a lot and we have Eliisa helping out and she's helped me out a lot. Whenever I'm having trouble she'll tell me what I'm doing wrong and helps me make it look more natural."
Thomas said the reason he tried out for the part was because he found it was one of the funniest characters in the musical and that's what he likes to do.
"I can pretty much be myself. Outside of the play I'm a really fun and likable guy, so I feel like I can be myself with this part," Thomas said. "I also like to sing and there are a lot of singing parts for this character."
Performances are 7 p.m. April 10 , 11 and 12 at the Negaunee High School Auditorium. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students and are available for purchase at Midtown Bakery in Negaunee and at the Negaunee High School box office.
"If you're looking for a comedy this is the place to be," Thomas said.
Adelle Whitefoot can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 243.