"It profits me but little that a vigilant authority always protects the tranquillity of my pleasures and constantly averts all dangers from my path, without my care or concern, if this same authority is the absolute master of my liberty and my life."

--Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

Friday, October 14, 2011

How to Succeed

Fifty years ago today the musical How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying opened on Broadway.   I wouldn't call it one of the "great" musicals, even though it won the Tony in 1962 for Best Musical -- in the five years before, the same Tony Award had gone to My Fair Lady (1957), The Music Man (1958), and The Sound of Music (1960), and losers in that period included West Side Story and Gypsy, both of which featured lyrics by Stephen Sondheim.   (Can you imagine?   West Side Story lost to The Music Man.... what a year!)   In the five years after, Tony winners included Fiddler on the Roof (1964) and Caberet (1967).    But How to Succeed, particularly with the lead played by Robert Morse, was undoubtedly one of the funniest American musicals of this era, arguably the greatest era for American musicals.   Here's Morse in one of the show-stoppers:

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