How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying


Writers: Abe Burrows Frank Loesser


Show Information

Based on the Play/Book/Film
How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
Number of Acts
Tony Award®
Best Musical 1962
First Produced
Comedy, Satire, Romance
Multiple Settings
Time & Place
1960s, the world wide wicket company, new york city
Cast Size
Orchestra Size
Ideal for
College/University, Community Theatre, Ensemble Cast, Regional Theatre, Star Vehicle Male
Casting Notes
Mostly male cast
Includes late teen, young adult, adult, mature adult, elderly characters


How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning musical, is a story about the triumph of the common man amid the buffoonery of big business. When a restless, creative, and ambitious window washer named J. Pierrepont Finch happens upon a book entitled 'How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying', he decides to begin his rise up the corporate ladder. With the book’s instructions and a dose of his own cleverness, Finch starts by landing a job in the mailroom at the World Wide Wicket Company, before quickly gaining promotions and outsmarting his scheming, sniveling rival, Frump - who also happens to be the boss's nephew-- until finally reaching the very top of the organization. From the very beginning, Finch has had the love and support of Rosemary, a marriage-minded secretary who recognizes Finch’s potential, and finds his innocent demeanour endearing. But in his single-minded pursuit of the top job, Finch is in danger of discounting Rosemary’s love. In a moment of crisis, Finch’s manual to success can no longer help him: he must rely on his own wits, and ultimately, his heart, to save the day. The standout score by Frank Loesser features such classics as the surreal and funny “Coffee Break”, the rousing “Brotherhood of Man”, and the melodious tongue-in-cheek ballad, “I Believe In You”, while the immensely clever book by Abe Burrows, Jack Weinstock, and Willie Gilbert, won the Pulitzer Prize in 1962 for Best Drama.

Lead Characters

How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying guide sections