How to Succeed In Business Without Really Trying (The Musical Comedy) [Booklet Version]
Daniel Radcliffe & John Larroquette
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After treading the boards in the controversial thought-provoking drama Equus, Daniel Radcliffe continues his near-impossible mission to leave his Hogwarts background behind with his lead role as J. Pierrepont Finch in the second Broadway revival of Frank Loesser's Tony Award-winning musical How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. Without the occasionally distracting Mad Men-style costumes and lavish '60s-based set designs, this official cast recording of the play (based on Shepherd Mead's tale of a window cleaner's climb up the corporate ladder) allows Radcliffe to prove he can add accomplished singer to his increasingly versatile list of talents. While his inoffensive pleasant tones might not match the intensity of the original's Robert Morse, they're certainly strong enough to justify his leading man status, as he belts out his character's narcissistic love song, "I Believe in You," and his ode to the object of his affections, "Rosemary," with conviction as well as adequately sparring up to John Larroquette's duped boss J.B. Biggley on college anthem "Grand Old Ivy." Elsewhere, the 31 Rob Sher-produced chronologically listed tracks, which stay faithful to Loesser's original jazz-tinged score, feature performances from Rose Hemingway as love interest Rosemary (anti-feminist anthem "Happy to Keep His Dinner Warm"), Mary Faber as her friend Smitty (on the equally chauvinistic "Cinderella, Darling"), and Christopher J. Hanke as Finch's rival Bud Frump on reprises of "The Company Way" and "Been a Long Day," alongside narrative pieces from CNN anchorman Anderson Cooper ("Dear Reader," "Rosemary's Philosophy") and several instrumentals from the How to Succeed Orchestra, such as the bossa nova-tinged "Martini Time" and the big-band swing of "Pirate Dance." Of course, How to Succeed... loses much of its context when stripped of its visual spectacle, but diffusing any reservations about the Harry Potter star's musical ability, this soundtrack is still a charming listen for the army of worldwide theatergoers who haven't had the chance to make up their own minds themselves. ~ Jon O'Brien, Rovi