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Daniel Radcliffe reportedly prepping for stage musical 'How to Succeed in Business'

October 9, 2009 |  3:00 pm

DanielRadcliffeEquusAs fans of the "Harry Potter" films will surely attest, Daniel Radcliffe, who created the on-screen role of the young wizard, has those "cool, clear eyes of a seeker of wisdom and truth."

That's also a refrain from "I Believe in You," the hit song from "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying." Citing unnamed sources, Variety reports that Radcliffe is going to kick the tires on the role in an upcoming reading for a possible revival of the satire on corporate striving that opened on Broadway in 1961. 

If a production comes to fruition and he takes the role of Finch, Radcliffe would be making his musical debut as a window-washer who rises to company top dog with the help of his trusty talking self-help book, whose title is the same as the play's.

Big business as farce? Never say that theater producer-types don't try to feed off the zeitgeist. Radcliffe earned critical huzzahs on stage in 2007 and 2008, starring as the stable boy in London and Broadway revivals of Peter Shaffer's psychological drama, "Equus."

Producers of a new revival of "How to Succeed in Business" would have a pretty high pedigree to live up to. Frank Loesser wrote the show's music, Abe Burrows directed the original production and co-wrote the book with Jack Weinstock and Willie Gilbert, and Bob Fosse was credited with musical staging. Robert Morse starred as Finch, Rudy Vallee played his boss and Charles Nelson Reilly was the hero's corporate nemesis. The show won seven Tony Awards -- Morse and Reilly among them for actor and featured actor -- and won the Pulitzer Prize for drama.

When the only Broadway revival so far came around in 1995 (on the heels of another severe recession, of course), Matthew Broderick played the lead and took the Tony, Megan Mullally was his secretary/love interest (succeeded, later in the run, by Sarah Jessica Parker), Des McAnuff was the director and the recorded voice of Walter Cronkite was heard giving the book's advice.

-- Mike Boehm

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Critics spellbound by Radcliffe's Broadway debut in `Equus'

Photo: Daniel Radcliffe in "Equus" on Broadway. Credit: Peter Kramer/Associated Press