In his first week as window washer-turned-corporate exec J. Pierrepont Finch in Broadway’s How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Nick Jonas proved that he can’t (yet) shine the shoes of his predecessors in the role – at least as a box office draw. The musical revival grossed just under $683,000 for the week ending Jan. 29, a steep 48 percent drop from Glee star Darren Criss’ third and final week in the show (when it earned a remarkable $1.32 million) and well below the average when Harry Potter alum Daniel Radcliffe had his name on the marquee. While Jonas & Co. managed to fill 80 percent of the seats, How to Succeed took in less than half its potential gross and the average ticket price fell to just under $75. That makes it only the 12th most expensive ticket on Broadway these days (and a more frequent find at the discount TKTS booth).
It will be interesting to see how How to Succeed holds up in the coming weeks and months – especially since the 19-year-old pop star is committed to the show through July 1. Because the Jonas Brothers are on hiatus as a pop act and fans of teen pop can be a rather fickle bunch, Nick may be less of a lure for young fans in the way Radcliffe and Criss turned out to be. Still, producers can hope for a burst of publicity from a new round of reviews once he’s settled into the role, as well as from his cameo appearance in the fourth episode of NBC’s new inside-Broadway drama Smash. (His episode should air in late February.)
Unlike either Radcliffe or Criss, Jonas is a veteran of musical theater on the Great White Way. He made his Broadway debut in 2001 in the musical revival Annie Get Your Gun, then played Chip in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast in 2002, and then young Gavroche in Les Misérables in 2003. He also played student leader Marius in London’s production of Les Miz for one month last summer, and starred as teen idol Link Larkin in a one-weekend-only run of Hairspray at the Hollywood Bowl last August.