I love Daniel Radcliffe. He was an adorable tiny Harry Potter and a grew into an great teen HP. It’s also impressive he chose to make his stage debut, and big break from his image role as the star of Equus, which makes Harry/Malfoy slash fiction look like a nursery rhymes. But in every clip I saw of Daniel in the starring role in Broadway’s revival of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, he just seemed to fall flat. He’d reverted back to the eleven year old wizard: adorable. It looked like he was killing himself onstage, and while it’s wonderful he’s was giving it his all, the audience shouldn’t feel exhausted watching a performer.
Now, for three months this January Glee’s Darren Criss will be taking the lead role, and he’s getting some criticism too. The New York Times says Darren Criss of Glee Fills Daniel Radcliffe’s Shoes, but that’s barely what’s happening here.
Darren is being groomed to star in the show for a three week stint. And the producers are looking for a show for him to helm longer term on Broadway, because he is amazing at singing and dancing.
For example, here is the kind of criticism Darren gets from his director: “What you’re doing is almost too good.” Zing.
There are some obvious differences between Darren and Daniel, and all of them point to Darren being the victor in the battle of Broadway.
Daniel was in Harry Potter, the movie. Darren was in Harry Potter, the musical.
Darren’s stage credits pre-How to Succeed include musical classics like Fiddler on the Roof and The Music Man. Daniel’s include Equus, a dark straight play about blinding horses and bestiality.
Darren’s joining the cast straight from working on Glee, where he spends most screen time singing and dancing. Daniel’s singing has been limited to off-screen.
Daniel’s face is going to be on toilet paper, Darren’s, to the best of my knowledge, is not.
The last point isn’t really relevant to Darren’s victory, but the thought might depress Daniel all the more when he starts reading Darren’s reviews.