“Glee” star Darren Criss made his Broadway debut last night in “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying,” replacing former Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliff in the role of J. Pierrepont Finch. Beau Bridges also joined the cast last night as J.B. Biggley, replacing John Larroquette in the role. Criss will be with the production for three weeks during the 50th anniversary revival of the play that debuted in 1961. After that, Nick Jonas will take over the role of Finch. Beau Bridges is expected to star as Biggley through July 1.
“How to Succeed” producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron sought out Criss for the performance after seeing him in “Glee,” reports Entertainment Weekly.
“We asked Darren if he was interested in doing a limited run in the show,” Zadan told the magazine, “and he got on a plane and snuck into the theater one matinee to check out the part. He called when he got out and said, ‘I have to play this role!’”
Previews for the 50th anniversary revival of “How to Succeed” began on February 26 of last year, and the opening was March 27. Thus far, there have been 316 regular performances of the revival, in addition to 30 preview performances. The revival of the show was nominated for eight Tony awards last year, including Best Revival of a Musical. John Larroquette won a Tony award for Best Performances By a Featured Actor in a Musical for his portrayal of Biggley. The original musical won eight Tony awards, including Best Musical and Best Author. It also was presented with the 1962 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.
In other “How to Succeed” news, Radcliffe and Larroquette’s last week in their respective roles resulted in a record-breaking week for the show at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre. That week, the show grossed $1.9 million, which broke the previous record of $1.6 million held by the holiday musical “Elf.”