Nick Jonas to replace Daniel Radcliffe on Broadway

Posted Sept. 07, 2011, at 4:40 p.m.
Last modified Sept. 07, 2011, at 11 p.m.

NEW YORK — Producers looking for someone to replace Daniel Radcliffe on Broadway have landed their prize — a Jonas.

Nick Jonas will step into the role of J. Pierrepont Finch next year in “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.” He begins Jan. 24 and will play the role until July 1.

“This is going to be an exciting journey,” the 19-year-old singer and actor said during his unveiling Wednesday at the venerable theater-district hangout Sardi’s.

Radcliffe’s final performance is set for Jan. 1. Darren Criss of Fox’s hit show “Glee” will make his Broadway debut in the role for three weeks, from Jan. 3 to Jan. 22. Then Jonas, the youngest of the three heartthrob siblings, begins.

He’s a veteran of the stage, appearing as Little Jake in “Annie Get Your Gun” in 2001 and Chip in “Beauty and the Beast” the following year before playing the young street urchin Gavroche in “Les Miserables” during its final months in 2003, his last time on Broadway. He also played the role of Marius in “Les Miserables” in London last year.

He made his stage debut in 2000 when he was cast in a production of “A Christmas Carol,” playing Tiny Tim opposite Frank Langella’s Scrooge at Madison Square Garden. His other credits include playing Kurt in “The Sound of Music” at the Paper Mill Playhouse in New Jersey. Earlier this year, he was in “Hairspray” at the Hollywood Bowl.

“It’s great to come back to Broadway,” Jonas said. “I always said my return to Broadway would have to feel right — the right role at the right time. This felt right.”

Tony and Emmy awards winner Rob Ashford, the director and choreographer of “How to Succeed,” suspects that Jonas probably has more experience on stage than many actors in the cast.

“He understands the eight-show-a-week idea, he understands the commitment that it takes, he understands the family, he understands the support everyone gives to each other. It’s thrilling for us to have him.”

Jonas says he has yet to meet Radcliffe, who opened the role in March, but hopes to soon. “He’s an incredible actor and he’s doing such a great job with the show, so it will be cool to sit down with him and pick his brain.”

Ashford says there’s a natural symmetry to replacing the young “Harry Potter” star with Jonas, and that will likely send a new wave of teens to the Broadway box office.

“It’s good news for bringing young people to theater,” he said.

Online: http://www.howtosucceedbroadway.com

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