Saturday, May 14, 2011

REVIEW: How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (New York)


Al Hirschfield Theatre (New York), Wednesday April 27

I’ll go straight to the point. Daniel Radcliffe was not bad at all! Should he win a Tony? No. Should he been nominated for a Tony? Well… maybe? The reality is that a movie star of his stature affords him a bit of leeway and at the same time a bit of pressure. We are looking at a movie star who is famous for a role (though I noticed him first in the BBC’s televised two-part adaptation of Dicken’s David Copperfield) that doesn’t require him to sing and dance; and to make this transition to a singing and dancing role on stage (not movie) does require a lot of commitment and guts. I can try to be objective and talk about pitch, tone, color, posture, alignment and placement; but the fact doesn’t change that I find his portrayal quite endearing and his commitment incredibly admirable.


Radcliffe was in good company though. John Larroquette’s J.B. Biggley was expectedly fabulous though in some moments was a bit formulaic. It was quite amusing how the show decided to play on the height differentials of him and Radcliffe. Tammy Blanchard’s Hedy La Rue and Christopher Hanke’s Bud Frump were right on with abundance of fizz.

The highlight of the show however, was the seamless integration of the Rob Ashford’s choreography into the whole musical in style and pace. While the set design was not bad, it played on the safe side. The costume on the other hand was right on the mark with enough semblance of the period yet relevant to the current time in colors and hues.

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How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
Opened on Broadway on March 27 2011
Lyrics by: Frank Loesser
Music by: Frank Loesser
Book by: Abe Burrows, Jack Weinstock and Willie Gilbert

Creative Team:
Rob Ashford (Direction and Choreography)
Derek McLane (Set Design)
Catherine Zuber (Costume Design)
Howell Binkley (Lighting Design)
Jon Weston (Sound Design)
Doug Besterman (Orchestrations)
David Chase (Music Director and Arranger)

Cast Includes:
Daniel Radcliffe (J. Pierrepont Finch)
John Larroquette (J.B. Biggley)
Rose Hemingway (Rosemary Pilkington)
Tammy Blanchard (Hedy La Rue)
Christopher J. Hanke (Bud Frump)
Rob Bartlett (Twimble/Wally Wompe)
Mary Faber (Smitty)
Ellen Harvey (Miss Jone)

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