Tuesday, June 7, 2011

theatre review - HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS WITHOUT REALLY TRYING, Broadway, Second visit, June 6

Radcliffe and Larroquette
We took a trip back to How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying last night, and I'm happy to report that the show is even in better shape than it was when we saw it in previews. Daniel Radcliffe and the rest of the cast are having such a blast performing this material that the entire evening becomes an infectious comical love fest for musical theatre, this show and especially Radcliffe and his cast mates.   The whole audience walked out of the theatre on a cloud last night, with big smiles on their faces.

To give a brief recap of the plot of the show- Radcliffe is J. Pierrepont Finch, a former window washer who upon reading a book entitled "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying," finds himself quickly on the way up the corporate ladder at the World Wide Wicket company.    John Larroquette is the President of the company and a very determined Radcliffe figures out how to be in the right place at the right time to overhear important information that can help him as he ascends the ladder. 

I am still in complete shock that Radcliffe was overlooked for a Tony nomination.  I've seen all of the other nominees and Radcliffe is head and shoulders above all of them in his performance.   His dedication to the material, the show and his fellow cast mates are all perfect.   He is even better now than he was when we saw this show back in March.  Radcliffe's charm, charisma and dedication are front and center and the rest of the cast meets him in his challenge to make this show a truly joyous night in the theatre.  His singing is especially stronger now, which is really saying something considering they added a Monday night performance this week since they aren't performing Sunday since it is the day of the Tony Awards, which meant this was their 9th straight performance without a day off.   Come Saturday night they will have performed this show 16 times over 12 days without a break. 

Radcliffe and Blanchard
Tony nominees Larroquette and Tammy Blanchard are also having a grand time together with each finding even more comical bits to chew on.  A second visit also gave me the opportunity to notice many little elements that I missed on my first visit.  Like the way the secretaries bang the file cabinets in their "Cinderella Darling" tap number with their feet to show their frustration or how the World Wide Wicket company building is prominently featured in the beautiful New York City painting that is on the stage curtain.  A second viewing also gave me more reason to praise Director/Choreographer Rob Ashford.  He has amazingly created a unique and original look and style to the production and his dances are not only period specific but comical and completely creative, with many of the sequences exploding into sheer comical madness.  A throw away number like "Grand Old Ivy" has now become one of the highlights of act one.

Radcliffe in the "Grand Old Ivy" number
The cast recording is being released today and the entire cast sounds amazing.  The recording includes a lot of extra material, like the curtain call and exit music as well as several bits of introductory dialogue into some of the songs.  

This show is toward the top of my list for this Broadway season as well as one of the best nights I've had in the theatre in the past several years.   Just go and get tickets now.

Official Site

Cast recording clips -

Amazon link for the MP3 download of the cast recording -

Amazon link for the cd of the cast recording -

"Brotherhood of Men" from Letterman -

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