THE LEADING MEN: Pop Star Nick Jonas Returns to Theatre Roots for Broadway's How to Succeed

By Brandon Voss
13 Jan 2012

Nick Jonas
photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

Have you spoken to Daniel Radcliffe, who created the role of Finch in this revival?
NJ: I did have a chance to chat with him at a farewell party that they had for him on his last night. He gave me some advice and pointers about things he had learned while playing the role, which were so great to hear directly from him. It's incredible to see someone who's reached his level of success stay as humble and as cool as he has.

At 21, Radcliffe came under some criticism for perhaps being too young for the role. Meanwhile, you're only 19.
NJ: Finch is a window washer, so you have to think about the age a window washer would've been at that time, as opposed to the age of the other people who have played the role in the past. I think it's very age-appropriate casting that really works for this role, and it's exciting to tackle that. Daniel was the perfect age, and I believe that I'll be able to slip in there and hopefully do a good job too.

Radcliffe's immediate replacement, "Glee" star Darren Criss, plays Finch through Jan. 22. Have you checked in with him?
NJ: I saw him just before he had his opening show, and he seemed to be doing well. I could tell he was really excited about getting up there onstage and just doing it. After you've rehearsed for some time — or for three weeks in his case — there's a certain point when you're just so ready to do it in front of an audience.

During these final two weeks of rehearsals, what do you see as your biggest challenge or obstacle?
NJ: I've been blessed to have a significant amount of time to get comfortable with the lines, so I feel comfortable in that sense. I started dance rehearsals back in L.A. in October just to start getting my body comfortable with some of the movement, and surprisingly, I feel pretty comfortable with the dancing too. Right now it's just about getting in there, trying a bunch of different things, and seeing what feels best in the different scenes. It's really about trial and error, and that's what it'll come down to for me. The rehearsals have been going really well.

Has this crunch-time rehearsal period been all work and no play?
NJ: It's a lot of work, but there's been a little bit of play, too. I rehearse all day, but I've had some time at night to catch up with some people and have some good dinners.

In addition to rehearsals, have you been attending any performances?
NJ: I might go see the show a few times later on down the road, once I'm more comfortable with the role. I've seen the show once before and I loved it, but I want to keep digging in so I can understand it all a bit more myself, and then maybe I'll go check it out again.

The stage door scene was sheer madness for Radcliffe and it continues to be crazy for Criss at the Hirschfeld Theatre. Are you prepared for that fan frenzy after every performance?
NJ: I'm interested to see what it's like. My fans and fans of the Jonas Brothers are very passionate, so I'm looking forward to seeing how they come out and support me in this. Knowing how important this is to me, I think they'll definitely show their support in a major way.