Darren Criss to Make Broadway Debut in “How To Succeed in Business” (It’s Official)

Deadline broke the story a few weeks ago, but now it’s official.  Glee’s Darren Criss makes his Broadway debut as J. Pierrepont Finch in the rival of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying for a 3 week run, beginning January 3, 2012.

Darren will be taking over for Daniel Radcliffe who is leaving the production to go back to movies.  It’s got to be a dream come true for Darren, who studied musical theater at the University of Michigan, and co-wrote, among other productions,  the parody musical, A Very Potter Musical for his theater group, StarKid Productions.  Good luck, Darren!

Read the official press release, below Via Marc Malkin:

WHO TO SUCCEED? “GLEE” BREAKOUT STAR DARREN CRISS CONFIRMED TO MAKE BROADWAY DEBUT AS BROADWAY’S NEXT ‘J. PIERREPONT FINCH’ THREE WEEKS ONLY
JANUARY 3-22, 2012 DANIEL RADCLIFFE TO STAR IN SHOW THROUGH JANUARY 1, 2012

(New York, NY – Monday, August 1, 2011) The producers of the 50th Anniversary production of the Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning musical comedy HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS WITHOUT REALLY TRYING announced today that Darren Criss, breakout star of Fox’s Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning smash hit television show “GLEE”, will make his Broadway debut as J. Pierrepont Finch, performing a strictly limited three week engagement from January 3, through January 22, 2012. He will replace Daniel Radcliffe, who will play his final performance on Sunday, January 1, 2012. Tickets for Mr. Criss’ engagement in HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS WITHOUT REALLY TRYING are now on sale.

“Daniel gives an extraordinary performance eight times a week and we knew finding someone to fill his shoes would be nearly impossible. When we learned of Darren’s dream of performing on Broadway we knew we had found our Finch but presumed his “GLEE” schedule would eliminate any chance to work with him,” said director/choreographer Rob Ashford. “We are ecstatic and grateful to Ryan Murphy and his “GLEE” team at 20th Century Fox TV for helping to make both Darren’s and our dream come true.”

Actor/musician/songwriter Darren Criss has gone from YouTube sensation to a six-time Billboard charting musician and composer, and cast member of Fox’s Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning series “GLEE.” He was recently promoted to a series regular after making a splash as a guest star in Season Two, playing Blaine Anderson. Criss’ breakout performance of Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream” in his first episode set a milestone for “GLEE,” debuting at #1 on Billboard for the first time in the show’s history and selling over 200,000 tracks in its first week. He is also the co-founder of StarKid Productions, where he wrote and starred in A Very Potter Musical and A Very Potter Sequel. Additional credits under StarKid Productions include Me and My Dick and most recently Starship. His television credits include “Eastwick,” “Cold Case” and “Archer.”

HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS WITHOUT REALLY TRYING began previews on Saturday, February 26, 2011 and opened Sunday, March 27 at Broadway’s Al Hirschfeld Theatre (302 West 45th Street). Nominated for eight 2011 Tony Awards including Best Revival of a Musical, HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS WITHOUT REALLY TRYING is directed and choreographed by Tony and Emmy Award-winner Rob Ashford, and currently stars Daniel Radcliffe as J. Pierrepont Finch, 2011 Tony Award winner John Larroquette as J. B. Biggley, Rose Hemingway in her Broadway debut as Radcliffe’s onstage romantic interest Rosemary Pilkington, Tammy Blanchard as Hedy La Rue, Christopher J. Hanke as Bud Frump, Rob Bartlett as Twimble/Wally Womper, Mary Faber as Smitty, Ellen Harvey as Miss Jones, 2011 Emmy Award winner Michael Park as Bert Bratt, and Emmy and Peabody Award-winning journalist Anderson Cooper making his Broadway debut as the voice of the narrator, in a cast of 30.

HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS WITHOUT REALLY TRYING has music and lyrics by Academy Award and Tony Award winner Frank Loesser, and a book by Abe Burrows, Jack Weinstock and Willie Gilbert, based on the book by Shepherd Mead. The creative team for HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS WITHOUT REALLY TRYING includes Derek McLane (Sets) Catherine Zuber (Costumes), Howell Binkley (Lighting), Jon Weston (Sound), Tom Watson (Hair), Doug Besterman (Orchestrations), and David Chase (Music Director and Arranger). The 50th Anniversary production of HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS WITHOUT REALLY TRYING is produced by Broadway Across America (John Gore, Thomas B. McGrath, Beth Williams), Craig Zadan, Neil Meron, Joseph Smith, Michael McCabe, Candy Spelling, Takonkiet Viravan/Scenario Thailand, Two Left Feet Productions/PowerArts, Jen Namoff/Fakston Productions, Hilary A. Williams, HOP Theatricals, LLC/Paul Chau/Daniel Frishwasser/Michael Jackowitz, and Michael Speyer – Bernie Abrams/Jacki Barlia Florin – Adam Blanshay/Arlene Scanlan/TBS Service.

With the aid of a trusty self-help book “How to Succeed in Business” wily window washer J. Pierrepont Finch enjoys a riotous rise up the corporate ladder. Will Finch’s unorthodox business practices at the World-Wide Wicket Company get him in hot water with the head honcho J.B. Biggley, and jeopardize his romance with secretary Rosemary Pilkington? With a hilarious book and beloved score by Frank Loesser, HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS WITHOUT REALLY TRYING is packed with hit standards such as “I Believe in You,” “Happy to Keep His Dinner Warm,” “The Company Way,” “Been a Long Day,” “Rosemary,” and “Brotherhood of Man.”

Tickets for HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS WITHOUT REALLY TRYING range from $52 – $132, and are available at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre box office and at Telecharge.com (212-239-6200). The playing schedule is as follows: Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7pm, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturday at 8pm, with matinees Wednesday and Saturday at 2pm and Sunday at 3pm.

For more information please visit: www.howtosucceedbroadway.com

  • Jolene

    Why, why, why am I nowhere near NYC? Why are there oceans separating me from Broadway?
    So very very happy for Darren, so sad I won’t get to see him in this role.

  • Buffynut

    Good for him! Could never understand the people who think doing Broadway is a “step down.” Broadway is a big deal! My goodness, he is coming in to the same part Radcliffe played. That is huge!

  • jeffreythegleek

    Well my skepticism has been proven wrong. I don’t know how he can learn a whole musical in just two weeks of rehearsal but they wouldn’t have hired him if they didn’t believe he could. He’s probably bouncing off the walls right now and people are calling the theatre wanting to know when his shows go on sale. Of course this will fuel Ryan Murphy’s ego even more now that Darren is indebted to him for life. But it’s good damage control to show he’s not the raging tyrant he sometimes comes off as.
    P.S. MJ, it it safe to assume you will be going to see him up close and personal again?

  • http://myspace.com/girlgeek mj

    P.S. MJ, it it safe to assume you will be going to see him up close and personal again?

    I’d like to…but I don’t know.

  • blowfish

    Well my skepticism has been proven wrong. I don’t know how he can learn a whole musical in just two weeks of rehearsal but they wouldn’t have hired him

    I am pretty sure that most people joining a Broadway show already running have the same standard 2 weeks of rehearsal.

    I think Darren will be amazing in this show. I am just sad that it is so short that I probably won’t get to see him in it. But glad that he won’t be leaving Glee to do Broadway! I needs me some Klaine!

  • Axxxel

    Wow, what a learning experience for Darren Criss !! I guess no Klaine for at least 1 month.

  • jeffreythegleek

    Axxxel says:
    Wow, what a learning experience for Darren Criss !! I guess no Klaine for at least 1 month.

    The original Deadline article said he would only miss 1 or 1.5 episodes. They don’t all appear in every one so it wouldn’t be as big a deal. By the way, what is a “Book” in Broadway terms? I assume the script without the songs? It’s not like I can go to the bookstore are there it it.

  • blowfish

    By the way, what is a “Book” in Broadway terms? I assume the script without the songs? It’s not like I can go to the bookstore are there it it.

    Nope, not something you can buy at the bookstore. It is the libretto of the musical. has all of the dialogue, plus the lyrics to the songs.

  • Montavilla

    The “book” of a musical is the words that are spoken and sung, but without the musical notes written in it.

    You can probably get it at the Samuel French bookstore. There’s one in NYC, one in LA, and one in London.

  • smartalek

    Well this is a big deal. I will probably try to go see Darren even though his fandom annoys me. He looks hot in that photo above. I still am hoping that despite whatever large part he gets on glee, he doesn’t still get to sing way more numbers than everyone else.

  • http://www.last.fm/user/RemusL/ RemusL

    The singing should not be a problem for Darren but the dance sequences required for the character are very demanding. I think Daniel Radcliffe said in interviews that the dancing was his main concern. He wasn’t sure he would be up to the task and had to train for months.

    Here’s the number that Daniel & cast performed at this year’s Tony Awards: http://youtu.be/mAlkS2P3JA4

  • http://mjsbigblog.com/luvadamlamberts-american-idol-tour-2009-washington-dc-re-cap.htm luvadamlambert

    He looks hot :)

  • jeffreythegleek

    Thanks blowfish and montavilla for answering my question. You see, MJ provides an educational purpose after all. Although I understand blowfish are poisonous if you eat them. :-)

    I would guess Darren will have a dancing instructor working with him. That might be why they hired him 5 months in advance. Give him plenty of time to train for it.

  • Axxxel

    @jeffreythegleek : oh good, only missing 1 or 1,5 Glee episode… that is not much… Reminds me of the last 2 episodes of Season 2 and I did not miss him much… Easy to say, having the Warblers in my CD – player.

    @RemusL… yeah, also saw that scene on the Tony’s… I already feel tired by just looking at it.

    @luvadamlambert.. hope Darren Criss is allowed to keep some of his curls in his hair… :-)