Curtains at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre went up last night, March 27, for the 50th anniversary revival of “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.” The new take on Frank Loesser’s classic tuner — with book by Abe Burrows, Jack Weinstock and Willie Gilbert — is directed and choreographed by Rob Ashford.
Earning drastically mixed reviews, Daniel Radcliffe stars as the corporate ladder-climbing J. Pierrepont Finch. Guided by a self-help book (that shares its title with the musical), the scheming window-washer works his way up the ranks of the World Wide Wicket Company.
John Larroquette makes his Broadway debut here as the philandering company president, J.B. Biggley. The ensemble supporting cast also features Tammy Blanchard (as Hedy La Rue), Christopher J. Hanke (Bud Frump), and Broadway newcomer Rose Hemingway (Rosemary Pilkington), among others. Meanwhile, news anchor Anderson Cooper lends his voice as the show’s recorded narrator.
“How to Succeed” premiered on the Great White Way in 1961 — a run that lasted four years. Thirty years after the original staging closed, the musical’s first Broadway revival (starring Matthew Broderick) opened at the Richard Rogers Theatre in 1995.
Previews started February 26 for the musical comedy, during which time the tuner has volleyed between 85- and 100-percent capacity at the 1,444-seat playhouse. Regular ticket prices for the tuner range from $52 to $132 on Telecharge.com, with premium seating options set from $157 to $302. To date, this incarnation of “How to Succeed” has grossed $2,538,350 at the box office, according to the Broadway League.
The show runs two hours and 45 minutes, including a 15-minute intermission. “How to Succeed” is staged Tuesday and Thursday at 7 p.m.; and Wednesday, Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. Matinees are Wednesday and Saturday at 2 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m.
Al Hirschfeld Theatre is locaed at 302 West 45th Street in New York, NY. More details on “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” can be found on the production’s official Web site.
Opening Night: “How to Succeed in Business…”
|Variety||Steve Suskin||“Featuring a dazzling Daniel Radcliffe and a strong Broadway debut for John Larroquette, ‘Business’ takes its place at the executive level in a season of musical-comedy hits.”|
|New York Times||Ben Brantley||“While Mr. Radcliffe is clearly not to the musical manner born, I would give him, oh, a 6 out of 10. “|
|TheaterMania||David Finkle||“The 21-year-old Radcliffe proves he can carry a major musical on his five-foot-five frame — even a show such as this one, which shows slight signs of wear after 50 years.”|
|Washington Post||Peter Marks||“Terminally un-magical… Radcliffe’s skills do not include showmanship, an attribute this slick part cries out for.”|
|Chicago Tribune||Chris Jones||“[Laroquette’s] sardonic sense of comedic timing is flawless and [his] pacing is relentless…”|
|Los Angeles Times||Charles McNulty||“The performers are all in such a flamboyantly presentational mode that they rarely make eye contact with one other.”|