Exclusive Stage Door Photos and Video of Dan + H2$ Impressions
Here is my latest crop of stage door photos and videos of Dan, taken especially for you when I finally managed to go and see How to Succeed in Business without really trying over the Labor Day Weekend. If you would like to read my impressions on the play, simply click on Read More!
I was finally able to attend a performance of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying over the Labor Day weekend, and what a treat it was! The cleverly constructed sets, the quirky storyline, the songs and the intricate choreographies all contributed to a rollicking evening of laughter and toe tapping entertainment from the moment Daniel Radcliffe was hoisted out of the orchestra pit on a window washer’s scaffolding. I was sitting in the very first row on the left hand side of the mezzanine for the Saturday evening performance, and was actually able to see down into the pit and watch Dan burn off a bit of nervous energy just before the show got started. The mezzanine row A seats are outstanding and very close to the stage, offering an unobstructed view of all the proceedings at a much lower price than the premium seats. If you can get seats like these, go for it!
I found Daniel perfectly cast in the role of J. Pierrepont Finch; with his kinetic energy, boyish charm and never ending string of hilarious expressions and mimics, he had the audience laughing right through the show. Add to the mix the fabulous John Larroquette, who plays company president J. B. Biggley, and you are looking at an outstanding comedy duo. The fact that Dan is slight in stature and Larroquette anything but contributes to the general hilarity of some of the scenes. I actually found the on-stage chemistry between these two actors stronger and more believable than the chemistry between Dan and his leading lady, Rose Hemingway (who plays Rosemary Pilkington in the play). Rose carries the part well and is certainly very appealing, but (to me) the two just didn’t seem to mesh quite convincingly as a couple. Other notables in the talented cast were the delightful Christopher J. Hanke (Bud Frump) and Mary Faber (Smitty), both excellent in their roles, with fine singing voices and great comedic timing.
The song and dance numbers in this show are mostly all compelling and extremely entertaining. I absolutely loved the entire “Grand Old Ivy” scene, which provided the audience with an incredibly fun, high-octane choreography and some of the absolutely silliest moments of the entire play. Larroquette and Dan were hilarious in this number. Other delightful nuggets included “Been a Long Day”, sung in a very cleverly designed elevator setting, “Paris Original” and “Coffee Break” (which played out almost exactly as I had imagined them), “I Believe in You/Gotta Stop that Man” and, of course, “Company Way” and “Brotherhood of Man”, both amazingly intricate and well executed song and dance numbers.
Having seen Dan in mostly serious roles in the past, it was absolutely refreshing to see him in something so entirely different. By accepting the rather formidable challenge of portraying Finch in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, he has proven himself to be a fine comedian and an excellent dancer, and although his singing voice is not particularly powerful, it is true, sweet and imbued with warmth (much like the man himself). In other words, Dan has become what is known in the industry as a “triple threat”, and a very good one at that. Bravo to him and to the entire cast of H2$ for a job extremely well done!
And of course I felt compelled to return to the stage door on the Sunday in order to get some exclusive photos and video footage for you (forget going right after the show ends… it’s a total madhouse out there!). I hope you enjoy these, as getting them was quite an exercise in patience and physical endurance, not to mention having to constantly curb my desire to thwack anyone who said they were there to meet “Harry Potter” on the back of the head with my playbill! )
Fan: I am here to see Harry Potter!
Me: no, you’re here to see Daniel Radcliffe!
Fan: Isn’t Harry Potter cute!
Me: It isn’t Harry Potter, it’s Daniel Radcliffe
Fan: Do you think Harry Potter will sign my *insert name of article to be signed here*
Me: No Harry Potter won’t, but Daniel might
Fan: It’s Harryyyyy!!!!!
Me: No, it’s… *get’s swallowed up by mountain of playbills and posters*