"Treasure Of Treasures..."
|How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying|
Wow! THAT is what a Broadway musical should be. I absolutely adored it. I've never been a huge fan of Frank Loesser, and had only ever seen the film of this show, but my word was this revival brilliant! Rob Ashford has really gone to town with his cast and choreography, and for a third preview the show was in a fantastic position.
Now I really can't compare cast members to anyone else, as I only know the film, but there actually isn't a weak link in there. Rose Hemingway as Rosemary makes a wonderfully sweet and comic Broadway debut, Christopher J. Hanke makes an endearingly stupid Bud Frump, Ellen Harvey and Mary Faber are both terrific as secretaries Miss Jones and Smitty, and Tammy Blanchard nearly steals the show as Hedy La Rue - I'd give her a Best Featured Actress In A Musical Tony nomination right now; she was delicious. And John Larroquette, who I had never heard of (my bad) was great too. I literally cannot praise the cast enough.
These supporting characters are supported brilliantly by the ensemble - all the other secretaries and business men can sing and dance up a treat. The choreography was slick, the characterisation was believable, and everyone looked like they were having the time of their lives. Fantastic stuff.
A brilliant, multi-levelled set (Derek McLane) was decorated with fun lighting (Howell Binkley), which complemented Catherine Zuber's costumes beautifully. The orchestra was great, and will surely be recorded soon after opening for a new cast recording of Loesser's score. This production's star must merit a new recording alone.
And the star is - Daniel Radcliffe. No longer Mr Potter, Daniel has cynics (including myself) completely eating their words. He was absolutely extraordinary. I was wowed by him. A very strong singing voice, bang in tune all the time (more than can be said for a lot of Broadway musical theatre stars *cough-Nathan Lane-cough-cough*), some nice colours coming through, completely at ease with the music. I always appreciate that. And he played a great J. Pierrepont Finch. I have to say, Robert Morse in the film version creeps me out a little bit; he's brilliant, but his eyes do funny things. Radcliffe is instantly likeable, has fun with the role, and knows how to work the audience. And the boy can dance too! His routines in Grand Old Ivy and Brotherhood Of Man are not easy, but he pulls them off with style. I could rave about him for another couple of paragraphs, but I won't. Simply stunning - a brave, assured and successful musical debut. Bravo.
Rob Ashford's delightful production could do with a little cutting here and there, and I Believe In You could do with a bit more staging, in my opinion. But they've got a month until they open; they'll absolutely get there. My fear of the show being dated was completely unfounded - it works so well for this generation, and is a welcome addition to Broadway.
I'm really tempted to see it again before I leave.
But it's BOUND to come to London with our Daniel. Producers would be stupid not to transfer it. And you know what I love about it - Mr Radcliffe is obviously a star name, and a draw to a lot of younger people. But he's one of the star names who can actually pull it off, and he's getting younger generations into the theatre, to see the classic Broadway shows (which are far better than the modern ones- I can safely say that having just seen The Addams Family!) That kind of stunt casting is fine by me - a great performance that opens up the history of MT to a new age group. That's bloody great.
Penned by Perfect x