On Jan. 3, Glee star Darren Criss made his Broadway debut as protagonist, J. Pierrepont Finch in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, joining the show after Daniel Radcliffe wrapped up his performances.
Criss will return to filming ‘Glee’ after his last performance on Sunday, Jan. 22. Following his exit another teen hearthrob, Nick Jonas, will take over the role of J. Pierrepont Finch starting Jan. 24.
It was one o’clock in the afternoon on a Wednesday. There was already a line formed in front of the Al Hirschfeld
Theatre. Fans surrounded the street and stage door to catch a glimpse of Darren Criss.
Minutes later, Criss arrived and fans could not control their excitement. The crowd cheered as he exited his towncar and entered the building through the stage door, smiling and waving to his fans.
As the crowd entered the theatre filled up quickly. Teenage girls walked to their seats swooning over their playbills and recently purchased posters. Numerous conversations went on throughout the theatre. The lights dimmed, the chatter stopped and the orchestra began to play.
The crowd cheered as Criss rose from the stage door as a window washer and reveals himself as J. Pierrepont Finch, or simply Finch.
Throughout the play Finch follows the advice of a book titled How to
Succeed in Business, which is narrated by Anderson Cooper. Finch starts off in the mail room and rises to vice president of
Advertising at the World Wide Wicket Company. While rising at the
company, Finch also finds love with secretary Rosemary Pilkington, played by
How To Succeed is packed withgreat musical numbers such as “I Believe in You,” “Happy to Keep His Dinner Warm,” “The Company Way,” “Been a Long Day,” “Grand Old Ivy,” “Rosemary” and “Brotherhood of Man.”
The number, “Grand Old Ivy,” was a duet featuring Criss and Beau Bridges that showcased a lot of intense choreography that would be very familiar to fans of Criss’s role as Blaine Anderson on Glee.
The closing number, “Brotherhood of Man” was a show stopper. During a part in the song the dancers flip Criss up to the front of the stage. When he landed
the entire theater cheered, causing Criss to receive a standing ovation from the
Criss thrived in front of crowds; he provided the audience with smiles and laughter to last a lifetime. Criss’s voice was simply soothing, comfortable
and flawless. After the show fans rushed to the stage door to catch a glimpse of Criss exiting the venue. The stage door was packed with devoted fans and blocked off by police barricades.
“Darren does not come out after matinee shows,” explained a security guard to a group of girls who traveled from the United Kingdom just to see Darren Criss.
With Criss as the leading role the show garnered a total of just over $4 million, taking in around $1.3
million per week. Criss proved to be a force on Broadway and has become the musical’s most successful leading man to date.