Daniel Radcliffe Tries, 'Succeeds' in Broadway Musical Debut
By Kristina Lucarelli Posted Mar 31st 2011 11:00AM
While the other members of the 'Harry Potter' trio are chopping off their trademark locks, going to college and taking edgy roles to distance themselves from the Hogwarts scene, Daniel Radcliffe is hanging up his wizard robes in a different way -- by going to Broadway. And no, not the edgy, full-frontal, horse-blinding Broadway that he had a go at in 'Equus' four years ago, but Broadway Broadway -- singing/dancing/cheesy love story Broadway -- as the star of 'How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.'
Getting naked on stage is nothing compared to starring in a traditional Broadway musical. So, will Radcliffe's stint as a song-and-dance man prove he's more than Harry Potter? We've seen the show and are ready to weigh in.
In 'How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying,' a revival of an acclaimed production that debuted in the 1960s, Radcliffe stars as eager overachiever J. Pierrepont Finch, opposite 'Night Court' alum John Larroquette. Now, the expectations aren't very high for a kid who is only famous because he happens to look like the most popular literary hero. It's not like Radcliffe's acting in the 'Harry Potter' movies was Oscar-worthy or anything. He basically just awkwardly delivers lines, fights and touches his scar a lot.
So when the lights came down in the theater and Radcliffe appeared in non-Gryffindor regalia, the hope that Ralph Fiennes would come out next and the two would start dueling went out the window. Then he hit his first note. And for the next two hours, Radcliffe belted, high kicked and all but pirouetted his way to earning a spot on the Great White Way.
As far as Broadway stars go, Daniel Radcliffe is no Robert Goulet or Ben Vereen. He isn't even a Matthew Broderick, who played the same role in the 1995 revival of 'How to Succeed,' but Radcliffe has worked very, very hard. Anyone who sat close enough to see the sweat and concentration on his face throughout his performance could recognize that. He was enthusiastic, and energetic, and carried a tune. And he can really dance! It's not like the steps were 'Black Swan' hard or anything, but they weren't easy, and he's got rhythm and moves as good as any chorus boy you'll see on the ol' Broadway today.
See what we mean!? If it weren't for the plaid jacket and giant height difference, you'd never know which one was Dan! The fact is, even the greatest skeptics and hecklers can't dismiss Radcliffe's genuine drive to perform, and perform well.
So what does this mean for Radcliffe's post-'Potter' career? We'd like to hierarchically nominate the following possibilities:
- 'Harry Potter The Musical'
- An E.G.O.T.
- Guest starring on 'Glee'
- 'Harry Potter The Musical: The Movie'
- A film remake of 'How to Succeed'
- 'Harry Potter The Musical: The Movie: The Documentary about the Movie'
So let's all cross our fingers that if anyone attempts to turn 'Harry Potter' into a musical, it's Darren Criss and not Julie Taymor. She's already ruined our childhoods enough (not counting, like, 'The Lion King' or 'Across the Universe,' natch).
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