NEW YORK – As Daniel Radcliffe nears the end of his run as J. Pierpont Finch in the classic Frank Loesser musical How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, one thing is pretty clear -he still loves to perform the show. His performance is so infectious you can see that he is having fun from the first moment he is hoisted up as the ambitious window washer who climbs his way to the top of the World Wide Wicket Company. And he still has that same joy as he sings the Act 2 showstopper Brotherhood of Man. One of the things that I loved about his performance was his asides to the audience when things are going Ponty’s way as he climbs each rung of the corporate ladder.
It has been well-documented in the press when the show first opened but Radcliffe is a great singer and dancer.
In fact, the whole cast is amazing. John Larroquette (he deserved his Tony Award) is a hoot as the big boss JB Bigley and Rose Hemingway makes for a sweet Rosemary. Mary Haney and Ellen Harvey are both hilarious as Smitty and Miss Jones respectively. And Christopher Hanke makes a great foil to Radcliffe’s Ponty as Bud Frump. After seeing a taping of Anderson Cooper’s talk show this morning, I got to hear his performance as the Narrator tonight and I really liked him. He gave a very wry performance.
The dance numbers were well choreographed by Rob Ashford but at times found that it was a bit distracting to the main action/drama that is happening on stage that I was more focused on that instead of the incredible dancing that was happening.
Unfortunately, Tony nominee Tammy Blanchard has left the show but her replacement Paige Faure made a great Hedy LaRue.
If you can, try and see How To Succeed while Daniel Radcliffe is still in the role before he leaves it at the end of the year.