The following research project is the result of comparing and contextualizing the original non-musical and musical drafts of the original 1961 Broadway production of How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying. The intention is to detail the process of musically adapting a non-musical source, specifically the 1952 satirical text How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying: The Dastard's Guide to Fame and Fortune by businessman-turned-satirist Shepherd Mead. Research was predominantly completed through analysis of the non-musical draft written by television writers Jack Weinstock and Willie Gilbert in the 1950s and acquired from the Billy Rose Theatre Division of the New York Public Library. This was supplemented through acquisition of the eventual musical draft by Broadway book writer and director Abe Burrows from the same institution. The research found that adapting non-musical satire for the Broadway stage can prove challenging and equally beneficial when mounting an American musical. The study additionally foregrounded the struggle to perceive How to Succeed... as "satirical" in the modern era against its implied sexist undertones evident in all iterations of How to Succeed.... The overall findings intend to provide scholarship offering an in-depth examination of the two principal adaptations of a landmark Broadway musical considered part of the revered Broadway canon. Doing so will provide a richer context to its legacy and, simultaneously, provide a necessary discourse on determining the individuals responsible for its conception.
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Master of Arts (M.A.)
College of Arts and Humanities
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Bogers, Gary, ""How to Succeed": Determining and Comparing the Musical and Non-Musical Influences behind the Broadway Adaptation of How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying" (2022). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2020-. 979.