New Castle News

Local News

March 21, 2013

Photo Gallery, Story, Cast List: Neshannock presents ‘How to Succeed in Business’

NEW CASTLE — If you didn’t already know, “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” won a Pulitzer Prize for drama.

Just ask director Mike Cavalier and he’ll tell you — at regular intervals. In fact, he mentions it so frequently, the cast is prepared for that, and many other quirks and quips that motivate.

For a while, though, Cavalier was unsure whether to present that show, which he toyed at staging for years.

Then along came Cody Martin.

That sealed the deal for Cavalier.

“We never had the right group of kids before for this show,” he said.

That changed this year.

For Martin, it was a new state and a new school. His family had just moved to the area from Virginia. Martin, who never before was in a musical, decided to audition for a part as an opportunity to meet a lot of people.

Forget about saying, “Break a leg.” Martin may be the lucky charm.

“I was astonished when he spoke,” junior Christian Na admitted. “I was enthralled that we had a solid primary male on board.”

Musicals are never done small at Neshannock. The director sees to that.

Those who have been in several musicals know his mantra — “Go big or go home.”

“I won’t do it any other way,” Cavalier asserted.

ROLE PLAYING

Major roles in the cast of 41 are filled by four seniors, including Antonio Blundo, who has a lead part as J. Pierrepont Finch; Martin as J.B. Biggley; Macy McBeth as Rosemary; and Jenna Richardson as Smitty.

Na is Bud Frump, and Carly Edman is Hedy LaRue.

The musical takes a tongue-in-cheek look at a business in the early 1960s, when secretaries are treated as toys and a window washer rises to the top as chairman of the board after reading a book, “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.”

It’s hysterical, clever and sophisticated all rolled up in one.

It also is one of Cavalier’s favorite shows because the characters are so well defined.

The off-the-wall factors add extra punch. For instance, Martin’s character knits.

Unlike some musicals, it has a major plot, Cavalier pointed out.

“This would have teeth without music.”

And the last time Neshannock did the performance was in 1971.

“This is the best role I ever had,” Blundo, who has performed in four musicals, said. “I get to play a con man, and it reminds me of one of my favorite movies, ‘Catch-22’ with Leonardo DiCaprio.”

That statement instantly provided a joking response from Cavalier.

“For him, it’s him. This was a no-brainer.”

Blundo described his character as a person who lies and steals to get to the top.

“My character is a nerd and I’m kind of nerdy,” Na said. “Bud is fun to play.”

Richardson also finds the role of Smitty, Rosemary’s best friend, to be her favorite.

To Edmond, Neshannock’s director brings out the best in everyone.

“We wouldn’t do it for anyone else,” she said.

Cavalier coined another phrase that this group isn’t soon to forget — “This show is so stinking famous.”

That’s followed by a knee slap.

Sometimes, he says it in succession to groans from the cast.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • Pride.tiff New Castle Schools: Second-grader recognized for reading 200 books

    Alexandra Browne of New Castle could very well be Lawrence County’s youngest bookworm. The petite, curly-haired 8-year-old was summoned to the New Castle school board meeting Monday with her parents, Rochelle and Ted Browne, to receive the district’s Pride and Promise award for April.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hilcorp a partner in vo-tech shale course

    A shale drilling company’s contribution to the vo-tech school will help fund a curriculum for careers in that field.

    April 19, 2014

  • 01.jpg Photo Gallery: Church’s tradition of Easter countdown continues

    Easter is keenly anticipated by Christians around the globe. But perhaps nowhere is its arrival more heralded than at Independent Methodist Church.

    April 18, 2014 11 Photos

  • Lawrence county receives state grant

    Lawrence County will receive state funding to update its comprehensive plan. The county will receive $47,000, in the form of a Municipal Assistance Grant, from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, according to state Sen. Elder J. Vogel.

    April 18, 2014

  • Mahoning Township sets spring cleanup

    Mahoning Township will have its spring cleanup the weeks of April 28 and May 5. Residents should place items at the curb the day before their scheduled collection. They should be neatly bagged or bundled.

    April 18, 2014

  • Vo-Skills.jpg VoTech team claims silver medal state honors

    The Lawrence County Career and Technical Center boasts a team of disciplined, well-spoken winners. The school’s SkillsUSA team, comprised of 21 students, stood against other schools from throughout Pennsylvania last week in Hershey.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Columbia Gas announces pipeline replacement work

    Columbia Gas has scheduled a pipeline replacement project for New Castle. Beginning this month, the company will replace approximately 2,800 feet of existing steel pipe along Eastbrook and Paper Mill roads and Cascade Street. The project is expected to be completed in July.

    April 17, 2014

  • ESB Financial reports earnings increase

    ESB Financial Corp., parent company of ESB Bank, has announced an increase in earnings for the quarter ended March 31.

    April 17, 2014

  • Author.tiff Arthur the author: Children’s writer/illustrator visits Neshannock Elementary

    A story about a grandmother and her granddaughter flying over a city grew from the vivid imagination of children’s author Arthur Dorros. “Abuela” also spurred the creativity of students at Neshannock Memorial Elementary School who had eagerly awaited a visit from Dorros yesterday.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Greer House changes name

    Greer House, a provider of assisted living services and care to seniors, has unveiled its new name. “We are thrilled about our new name — Clen-Moore Place,” said executive director Susan Leise, “because it better reflects our commitment to provide a vibrant environment where our residents thrive each and every day.

    April 16, 2014