Tracie Bennett to Lead London Revival of How to Succeed... in Gender-Swapped Role | Playbill

International News Tracie Bennett to Lead London Revival of How to Succeed... in Gender-Swapped Role

Find out which character the Olivier- and Tony-nominated End of the Rainbow and Follies star is taking on in the Frank Loesser musical.

Tracie Bennett

Broadway and West End alum Tracie Bennett (HangmenFolliesEnd of the Rainbow) will lead a new London revival of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying playing a man, World Wide Wicket Company C.E.O. J.B. Biggley.

Bennett announced the news in a video message. Watch below.

"I'm excited to tell you that I'm coming back to London to start rehearsing the 1960s satirical musical How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying," says Bennett. "I'll be playing a man. Yes, it was bound to happen some time, wasn't it, with these very dulcet tones of mine. Looking forward to it very much."

The production will play Southwark Playhouse May 12–June 17, with opening night set for May 16. RuPaul's Drag Race judge and West End alum Michelle Visage will voice the narrator. Georgie Rankcom will direct.

"Our approach to this wonderful show is to trust the brilliant original and let the satire shine," says Rankcom. "To find the best possible company to tell this story, we expanded our ideas of who can play and embody these roles. When you’re looking for someone with the charisma and power to be the high-powered boss with a flare for the occasional musical number, Tracie Bennett quickly becomes the top choice. I’m honored and excited to be working with her on bringing this new version of How to Succeed to the stage.”

Based on Shepherd Mead's satirical novel, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying follows young and ambitious J. Pierrepont Finch as he quickly climbs the corporate ladder from window washer to chairman of the board at the World Wide Wicket Company. With a score by Frank Loesser and a book by Abe Burrows, Jack Weinstock, and Willie Gilbert, the musical premiered on Broadway in 1961, winning the 1962 Tony Award for Best Musical and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. A film adaptation was released in 1967, and the show was revived on Broadway in 1995 and 2011. The upcoming Southwark Playhouse production will be the musical's first major London run since the 1963 original West End production.

Joining Rankcom on the creative team are choreographer Alexzandra Sarmiento, music director Natalie Pound, set and costume designer Sophia Pardon, lighting designer Lucía Sánchez, sound designer Joshua Robins, and orchestrator Stuart Morley. Waverley Moran will stage manage, with Misha Mah as production manager. Casting is by Peter Noden, and Jodee Conrad serves as general manager and producer. The production is being presented by Big Con Productions and The Grey Area.

This production of How to Succeed... is being presented by arrangement with Music Theatre International.


See Tracie Bennett as Judy Garland in Broadway's End of the Rainbow.

Tracie Bennett Stars as Judy Garland in End of the Rainbow

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