March 13, 2011

How to Succeed on Broadway

I didn't see the revival of How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying with Matthew Broderick, so I'm happy that it's back. I must admit, getting another chance to see Daniel Radcliffe again on Broadway was a major draw. It's great to see the actor tackle other challenges in his young career. And he did a splendid job as J. Pierrepont Finch, a window washer eager to get ahead in life.
Finch applies for a job at World Wide Wicket, headed by J.B. Biggley (the hilarious John Larroquette with impeccable comic timing). With the help of the book How to Succeed... (Anderson Cooper provides the Book Voice), he steadily climbs the corporate ladder. He also catches the eye of a young secretary, Rosemary Pilkington (Rose Hemingway in her wonderful Broadway debut). Tammy Blanchard plays Hedy Larue, a sexy but ditzy secretary assigned to Finch. Christopher Hanke is Bud Frump, Biggley's incompetent nephew out to thwart Finch's advancement in the company.
The show is reminiscent of Promises, Promises, with its costumes, sets, and choreography. No surprise there: both shows were directed and choreographed by Rob Ashford. Even Megan Sikora is in the cast. Show-stopping numbers include "Grand Old Ivy" and "Brotherhood of Man". Mr. Radcliffe can really dance, and you can see how much fun he's having. It is a fun, high-energy show. But mostly, it's a satire of the business world. Nepotism, sexism, ambition. Business people would probably feel that not much has changed in their world since its first publication.
Daniel at the stagedoor. We didn't get his autograph but at least we were able to inch our way to the front of the line despite the shoving and pushing.
We had much better luck this time than at the Equus one.
The show is still in previews. It was sold-out, and the audience went crazy after every number. There were school groups, and many kids. The show opens 27 March.
The madding crowd


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