A substantial portion of paying audiences flock to the Al Hirschfeld Theatre primarily to see Daniel Radcliffe in How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying. Yet they aren’t getting Radcliffe on stage—they’re getting J. Pierrepont Finch, his character. However, Monday night at the 92nd Street Y, a full auditorium got Radcliffe for an hour and a half, nervous chuckles, self-deprecation, and all. In a long-form interview with Jordan Roth, the president of Jujamcyn Theaters, Radcliffe discussed the fears of taking on his first Broadway musical, the physical trait he thinks landed him the coveted role of Harry Potter, and that now-infamous Tony Awards snub. Here are some of the highlights.
On deciding to do How To Succeed:
You work really hard on Broadway, and you have to if you want to meet a certain standard. I think people were kind of intrigued that I didn’t want to take the easier option of just signing on for another seven-film fantasy franchise.
On dance training:
There wasn’t a huge amount of investigating into [the deeper meanings of corporate greed in the show]. My attitude was just sort of, “Let’s get the dancing done.” I started doing dance lessons proper and in earnest in January 2010. I had a meeting with [director] Rob Ashford at the end of 2009. I told him, “Singing—I’m working on, I’m comfortable. Dancing—not an option. Put it out of your mind.” He said, “Look, we’ve got a year. We’ll see where you can get in a year, and if you’re still rubbish, we’ll see what we can do. I’m never going to make you look bad on stage.” When you’re working on Broadway, the wealth of talent you’re working with every single night is incredible. You have to work hard to keep pace with [the ensemble]. I didn’t want Rob to have to curtail what he would naturally do, choreographically, because I’m rubbish. And luckily, some of the more tricky parts of choreography were given to us in December, so I had a chance to learn it before we started rehearsals. Read more
For those that were dismayed by The Scottsboro Boys’ short run on Broadway and feared it would be forgotten this awards season, all bad feelings were washed away when the Tony Award nominations were announced Tuesday morning. The musical by John Kander and Fred Ebb (the famous duo’s final collaboration together) received 12 nominations, only coming in second to The Book of Mormon, which received 14. The nominations this year were anything but predictable, serving up some serious snubs and surprises, especially in the acting categories. Let’s take a look at the 2011 Tony nominees.
Good People Jerusalem
The Motherf**ker With The Hat
My wrong guess: Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo
Although Motherf**ker was always buzzed to be a lock for this category, I’m surprised it took the spot of Bengal Tiger, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. In my predictions, I edged out Good People, but am not surprised to see it here, as I’ve heard nothing but raves from critics and audiences. Read more
What do you think, Rushers? Can you imagine getting phone calls at the office from Stephen Sondheim like Fraver often did? Which is your favorite Broadway poster ever designed? Were you enraptured by How To Succeed like I was? Is it on your must-see list? Sound off in the comments below, and watch out for practical jokers, Rushers; it is April Fools Day!
Too often on Broadway, musicals sacrifice brains and depth for joyous, get-up-and-dance production numbers, as if the two couldn’t coexist in the same show. Rob Ashford’s revival of How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying is that rare production that manages to provide audiences with both.
Daniel Radcliffe of Harry Potter megafame stars as J. Pierrepont Finch, the window washer at the World Wide Wicket Co. who cunningly works his way up the corporate ranks. This is Radcliffe’s second Broadway bow, following a fantastic debut in the psychological thriller Equus in 2008. To answer the questions on everyone’s minds—yes, Radcliffe can sing and dance along with an ensemble full of Broadway babies, born and bred. While his vocals never rise above adequate, Radcliffe both executes and contributes to director Ashford’s lively and challenging choreography.
Ashford cleverly crafted choreography around Radcliffe’s physical traits. During the college-football inspired number “Grand Old Ivy, the ensemble literally lifts and tumbles Radcliffe around as if he were a five-foot pigskin. The effect is nothing short of hilarious, as is Radcliffe’s approval of the physical gag. “Grand Old Ivy” and others like “Brotherhood of Man” display a level of choreography and production value that is filled with such life and invention; How To Succeed surely offers some of the best Broadway spectacle this season. Read more
I long for summer. Not because I’ll be able to take long walks in Central Park without my ears falling off. Not because I can sit outside at Blockheads and enjoy $3 frozen margaritas. But because student rushing shows won’t be such torture!
I arrived at the Broadhurst Theatre at 8:15 this morning. I was first in line, which is satisfying, yet at the same time always induces me with the irrational fear that all other rushers must know something I don’t, or else why wouldn’t they already be here. I especially was nervous because this is the final week for the run of this Peter Shaffer play and had thought more rushers would be taking their last chances. My arrival to the theater must have been Mother Nature’s cue, because a blizzard commenced instantly, and lasted through the box office opening (not to mention the rest of the day). I stood just under the edge of the awning where the most logical entrance to the box office would be, come 10am. By the time a few people had joined me in my frigid wait for tickets, the fourth girl in line asked if we wouldn’t mind changing our line direction so that everyone could be standing under the awning and sheltered from the snow. I had no qualms with this, but the theater’s lobby attendent did. Why, I don’t know, but she wanted the line to start by the door furthest from the ticket window. This left everyone who joined the student rush line standing in the snow, except for me. I was dry, but I’ll admit, I felt pretty guilty. Read more