This review will instruct you, the viewer, on everything you need to know about how to enjoy a high school musical, preferably Our Lady of Sacred Heart's rendition of "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying." Follow this step-by-step manual, and you will know exactly how to genuinely savor this performance.
Let us presume that you are not familiar with the musical's plot. To clue you in, here is a brief synopsis to get caught up: J.Pierrepont Finch is armed with a manual outlining how to succeed in business without really trying, with the hopes of doing just so. Finch jumps into the Worldwide Wicket Corporation with the premise that he, a mere inexperienced window washer, can ascend the corporate ladder with ease. Thereafter, Finch is introduced to friends, foes, temptations, prestige, and love through the ups and downs of his business pursuits.
Without further ado, how to succeed without really trying to enjoy Our Lady of Sacred Heart's "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying."
As we follow Finch in his first task of applying for a job in the business world, your first task is to apply yourself as an audience. Remember this is a comedy, so be sure to laugh. This laughter will not be forced, though, considering how each punch line is carefully crafted and executed to keep everyone's daily dose of humor at high capacity.
Next, pay attention to the evolving character of Finch. You may think that senior Zander Lyons' portrayal of Finch is initially lacking but I am here to tell you otherwise: With a name like that, Zander is destined to prove his star potential. This only makes the transition Finch makes from soft-spoken window washer to powerhouse business man more recognizable.
By this time, you will have already picked up on how well the theater's intimate space is utilized. Now if you were mesmerized on the other hand by Hedy LaRue's extravagant ensembles, let me clue you in on how, in business or a high school musical, the crew must make the best of its resources. Here, the lighting and multipurpose stage props do just that, as the seamless transitions and use of illumination between scenes are worthy enough of praise.
Hopefully the choreography has not detoured you from an entertaining experience. If so, be sure to anticipate the all male dance numbers. Surprisingly enough, the men in the cast can do more than just a jazz square with their fancy footwork.
At this point, make sure you have laughed, applauded, and cheered after each solo, duet, trio, and group number. In the case that you did not, might I add that the audience before you did not need any prompting.
Now, I warn you, if at anytime your foot begins tapping or you find yourself humming the familiar tune to "Brotherhood of Man," then you have successfully come to enjoy the show.
Also be sure to give Adrianne Knapp an extra round of applause at curtain call when she comes out for a bow. The gumption and commitment to her role as comical Smitty stand out among a sea of patterned and polka dotted office secretaries.
In hopes that you have aken the above steps to fully relish the hard work the production team of Our Lady of Sacred Heart puts forth, you may recognize they have what it takes to succeed in the high school musical biz.
After all, they really tried . . . and it succeeded!
The Kelly Critics is a joint program of the Post-Gazette and Pittsburgh CLO's Gene Kelly Awards for Excellence in High School Musicals, in which students at Kelly schools review musicals at other Kelly schools. Reviews are edited by senior theater critic Christopher Rawson (firstname.lastname@example.org), a long-time Kelly Awards judge.