Daniel Radcliffe will head the cast of an upcoming New York reading of 1961 tuner “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying,” marking the first musical turn for the “Harry Potter” star.
Producers Broadway Across America, Craig Zadan and Neil Meron are test driving the project for a potential Rialto revival.
Rob Ashford is on board as director and choreographer, hot off the strong critical reception for his Donmar Warehouse production of Jason Robert Brown-Alfred Uhry musical “Parade,” which opened Oct. 4 at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles.
While producers could not be reached for confirmation, the reading is scheduled for December, with no other cast so far in place. Sources said plans for the production will be worked out based on the success of the reading.
Written by Abe Burrows, Jack Weinstock and Willie Gilbert, with music and lyrics by Frank Loesser, “How to Succeed” chronicles the rise of a crafty window cleaner as he follows the advice of a self-help manual to connive his way up through the ranks of the World Wide Wickets Co. and get the girl in the process.
Robert Morse created the role on Broadway and in the 1967 screen adaptation. The original production won seven Tonys, including musical, as well as the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1962, running for a healthy 1,417 performances. Matthew Broderick won a Tony for the lead role in a 1995 Rialto revival.
While that recent production might make it seem a little soon to start considering a major remount, the current economic turmoil, upheaval in the job market, and a host of fresh reasons to skewer the world of corporate America stand to make the cynical comedy resonate with today’s audiences.
Zadan and Meron have worked more extensively in film and television than the stage, however, their strong ties to Broadway have been established on the big screen in “Chicago” and “Hairspray,” and in TV projects such as “The Music Man,” “Annie” and “Gypsy.” The producing partners also are working with Steven Spielberg on a series for Showtime and DreamWorks TV that will chart the development of a Broadway show from creative inception through opening night, with an eye toward mounting the production on the Rialto (Daily Variety, Sept. 23).
Radcliffe made his Broadway debut in the 2008 revival of “Equus,” which transferred from an earlier run in London’s West End.