Broadway is bursting with bubbles of joyous musicals so far this season. Adding to the glow is the 50th anniversary production of the Pulitzer Prize winner, "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying," starring the one and only Daniel Radcliffe of "Harry Potter" and "Equus" fame (see full review of the show on Page C7). Oh, Wow! Is he a winner! So charming, so sweet and so talented. And can he sing and dance? Oh, boy, can he ever! A highlight is Daniel's rendition of "I Believe in You" singing to himself in a mirror. Surely he has the "cool clear eyes of a seeker of wisdom and truth." (You don't get to hear music and lyrics like this too often.) As J. Pierrepont Finch he's a miracle, but then the entire cast is perfection. John Larroquette is scrumptious as J.B. Biggley and Chris Hanke as Bud Frump is a delicious villain. Tammy Blanchard as Hedy La Rue is delightful and Rose Hemingway is gorgeous making her Broadway debut as "Rosemary." Remember that song? Well, the sweet and sassy score by Frank Loesser and Abe Burrows still remains a winner 50 years later. The production, as directed and choreographed by Award-winning Rob Ashford is a "Don't Miss!" of the season. The entire company never stops dancing and is dazzling. The sets are fantastic, as are the costumes. So hurry on to the Al Hirschfeld Theatre.
* * *
Classy, elegant remarks from John Warner last week, on the passing of his ex-wife Elizabeth Taylor. "I will remember her as a woman whose heart and soul were as beautiful as her classic face and majestic eyes."
He justly credited Taylor with helping him win his Senate seat in 1978, which he maintained until he retired two years ago.
Despite all the negative publicity about Elizabeth's weight during some of that marriage, her turn as Mrs. Warner, the Senate wife, was rather appealing. And after she lost weight, and returned to films such as "The Mirror Crack'd" and her stage triumph with "The Little Foxes" it looked like an enduring relationship, one in which both partners were busy with their own careers.
But it could not be. Elizabeth needed a man who tended to her 2 4/7 . One thing you did not say to Elizabeth Taylor was, "I can't. I'm busy. You go ahead." John said it once too often, and he said it while Elizabeth was here in New York, lavished with praise and attention for "Foxes."
And she felt -- perhaps with some justification -- that she had never been too busy to campaign for him.
I did always find it amusing that she insisted "she tried not to be famous" during the Warner era. I recall an evening in Manhattan in 1977, shortly after Warner announced his run. Elizabeth was attending some show biz event at the Waldorf Astoria. She wore a flimsy green Halston caftan, cut so low and slit so high you could see all the way to Virginia. (She sat next to Donny Osmond, who appeared transfixed by her copious cleavage.) The famous Burton emeralds were on display.
She perched on a chair as the paparazzi pounced. They were delighted to shoot down the bodice of her Halston. Elizabeth crossed her legs and the dress hitched way up! The photographers went berserk. She looked overripe, gorgeous and very famous. But perhaps she thought they really wanted pictures of Donny. Not little ole Mrs. Warner.