Harry Potter is heading back to Broadway. Daniel Radcliffe, who stars as the famous boy wizard in the ultra popular Harry Potter film series, will be returning to Broadway in the revival of the musical “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.”
The Frank Loesser musical, which tells the tale of a window washer whose discovery of the titular book leads him to the top of a huge conglomeration, originally opened in 1961, playing over 1,400 performances before closing in 1965. The musical was first revived on Broadway in 1995, starring Matthew Broderick in the leading role, and played for just over 500 performances. This latest revival, starring Radcliffe, is being billed as a 50th anniversary revival of the musical, and is set to begin previews on February 26, 2011, with an official opening date of March 27, 2011.
This will not be Radcliffe’s first experience on the Great White Way, as he appeared in the revival of the play “Equus” in 2008. While his performance in “Equus” earned him strong notices from critics, the overall box office for the play’s five month limited engagement was disappointing. The week ending November 23, 2008, saw less than 50 percent capacity within the theater.
However, there is optimism that the “How to Succeed . . .” revival will catch on with audiences. Musicals, on the whole, tend to sell better than plays. Furthermore, with the recent revival of another 1960’s musical, “Promises, Promises,” currently in the midst of a successful run (playing to 93 percent capacity this past week), there is hope that another period show from that time period will strike box office gold. As for Radcliffe’s star power, that will certainly factor into the box office draw for the revival.
The only major variable is Radcliffe’s own ability to carry a show on his own- especially a show that calls for him to sing. While Radcliffe was on stage for the majority of “Equus,” he still shared top billing with his “Harry Potter” co-star and distinguished British stage actor Richard Griffiths. Radcliffe first began taking voice lessons during his work on “Equus,” and often spoke of his desire to appear on Broadway in a musical. Audiences will get their first chance to see if Radcliffe can carry a tune on February 26, 2011 at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre in New York City.