Ticket brokers are cautiously optimistic about Nick Jonas of the Jonas Brothers replacing Daniel Radcliffe as the lead in “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” on Broadway this winter.
Jonas, no stranger to Broadway having performed in several productions over the years, is taking over for Radcliffe in late January. Radcliffe will have played the role of J. Pierrepont Finch for close to a year when he departs.
“[Jonas] will add a bit more life to the show and jazz it up, it will be as much as a 20 percent increase in the amount of tickets sold,” Randy Cohen, CEO of TicketCity.com, told TicketNews.
Since Radcliffe opened the show as its star on March 27, 2011, Cohen says that ticket sales have been “stagnant to steady,” for the 1950s period piece musical, about a young window washer who climbs up the World Wicket Company’s ladder.
Jonas has graced the grand stage since age 7, having appeared (from the most recent) in “Hairspray,” “Les Miserables,” “The Sound of Music,” and “A Christmas Carol,” but “How to Succeed in Business” will be his first lead role.
“I think Jonas will do a great job, we are excited about the change, [because] Jonas’ huge fan base will boost ticket sales,” Cohen says.
Jason Berger, managing partner of AllShows.com is a bit more reserved in his praise. he told TicketNews that there is already strong interest for tickets, however that interest might fade. The first two months of the year are also notoriously tough on theatre ticket sales, and Jonas is set to take the stage on January 28.
Radcliffe initially generated a lot of buzz from his performance, which earned a strong following and sold out many shows, but sales began to drop, Berger said. The same trend may happen with Jonas. However, the fact that Jonas is also a star still makes him a potentially lucrative draw for producers.
According to The Broadway League, for the week ending September 18, the show played to just under 80 percent capacity and generated just over $820,000, up about $60,000 from the previous week.
Berger said that the show itself has been very well reviewed, as the costume design, lighting, and choreography are top notch, which should continue to draw theatregoers.
“Customers all seem to love it, and Jonas will hopefully add fresh life to the show and keep it in demand through the New Year,” he added.