by Kevin McLaughlin
How to explain the pleasure of Ohio Light Opera’s production of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, which opened on June 15 at Freedlander Theatre? With music and lyrics by Frank Loesser, it’s a good-natured romp from the Mad Men milieu of the early 1960s that tries not to recall the bad old days too clearly, or to at least do it in jest. With an excellent cast, sets, and costumes, it’s hard not to have a good time with this production directed by Jacob Allen. I did, even if some of the old-fashioned attitudes rankled a little.
You might suspect that How to Succeed, which won the 1962 Pulitzer Prize for drama, had been ahead of its time, shining a light as it did on the bad behavior of get-ahead businessmen. Nah… Some of the more obvious sexist jokes and lyrics of the original may have been toned down for this production, but a lot of the caddishness remains, even if obviously intended as a send-up.