We already know that fans love How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying headliner Daniel Radcliffe: In addition to topping numerous polls since his arrival on Broadway as J. Pierrepont Finch, Radcliffe has just been voted 2011 Star of the Year! Although there are dozens of reasons to love this charming young star, we’ve narrowed them down to five:
1. He never missed a performance.
Every Broadway actor calls in sick now and then—but Daniel Radcliffe didn’t. Since How to Succeed’s first preview on February 26, Radcliffe has led his company onstage at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre at every performance. The production cancelled a handful of shows around the premiere of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, but Radcliffe did the lion’s share of promotion for his blockbuster movie on his days off. This iron-man work ethic endeared him to the entire Broadway community.
2. He mastered Rob Ashford’s musical numbers, with no star “cheating.”
The choreography of How to Succeed mastermind Rob Ashford can kindly be called “athletic.” Ashford delights in leaps, rolls, midair maneuvers and precision line dancing designed to keep masseuses in business. In many musicals, the star fakes the hardest moves, aping the ensemble but not performing the full routine. Radcliffe spent months perfecting his dance skills before rehearsals began and carried the show’s most memorable dance-centric production numbers, “Grand Old Ivy” (with an equally game John Larroquette) and “Brotherhood of Man.”
3. He handled his Tony snub with aplomb.
Radcliffe deserved a Best Actor Tony nomination as Finch, and it’s a waste of time to rehash the various snob-driven reasons he didn’t get one. Certainly he didn’t need Tony love to help his show remain a $1 million-a-week hit. The important thing is how he responded: Radcliffe warmly congratulated his co-stars who did get nominations, then showed up at the ceremony as a presenter and performed “Brotherhood of Man.” Classy? Definitely!
4. He kicked off the first Broadway.com Audience Choice Awards ceremony.
Pardon this self-serving item, but it was a thrill to have Daniel Radcliffe greet the stars and industry bigwigs who filled the Allen Room above Columbus Circle for the very first Broadway.com Audience Choice Awards ceremony in May. When Radcliffe agreed to grace our stage, he had no idea he would win awards for Favorite Actor in a Musical and Favorite Onstage Pair (with John Larroquette). A previous winner for Equus, he came because he respects Broadway fans and appreciates their passion for live theater.
5. He loves to laugh—including when the joke is on him.
Talk show hosts crave Radcliffe as a guest because he doesn’t mind poking fun at his goody-goody image, and he’ll play along with random conversational tangents. The best example of his sense of humor came during his encounter with Broadway.com’s own Susan Blackwell in a super-popular at-home episode of Side By Side By Susan Blackwell. Can you imagine another Broadway star washing windows, cleaning toilets and exchanging R-rated banter while a couple of video cameras record the action? Thanks for the memories, Dan!