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Daniel Radcliffe, Liza Minnelli, John Stamos: Scene Last Night

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Broadway Opening
Liza Minnelli and Rob Bartlett. Bartlett plays the head of the mail room and the chairman of the Worldwide Wicket Company in the new production of "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying." "From day one, moment one at the first rehearsal, I knew this was going to be special," Bartlett said on the red carpet. Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

March 28 (Bloomberg) -- For the actor who plays the window washer turned executive in “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying,” a corporate career holds little appeal.

“I’d be terrible at it,” Daniel Radcliffe said last night after his opening performance.

The actor better known as Harry Potter stood in the Palm Court of the Plaza Hotel, dressed in a Brooks Brothers three-button tuxedo and holding a bottle of Fiji water.

“I have literally no business acumen,” he added. “I think I’d be quite bored.”

JPMorgan Chase will have to stick to recruiting Yale hockey players.

Among those attending the opening-night festivities -- curtain at 5, then the Plaza for dinner, dessert and lots of champagne -- were Rocco Landesman, the chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts; playwright Neil Simon; musician Adam Duritz of Counting Crows; and actors Liza Minnelli, John Stamos and Bernadette Peters.

On the red carpet before the show was Marcia Reiter, daughter of Jack Weinstock, one of the writers of the musical. She had on the gold dress and coat her mother wore to the original production’s opening night in 1961.

Reiter’s older sister, Ethel Kaiden, made the family’s ambitions clear. “We won the Tony and we will win it again,” Kaiden said, explaining that a second was needed so that each daughter could have her own (currently the sisters switch off every six months).

‘Start Young’

Also making a turn on the red carpet was Edward Mead, the son of Shepherd Mead, who wrote the satiric business manual on which the musical is based. Mead said that growing up he had been more tuned into another book of his father’s, “How to Succeed With Women Without Really Trying.”

“The advice was: Start young. Throw your arm around women’s knees and work your way up,” said Mead, who is a vice president of computer technology at a small company.

As for how to succeed in mounting a production on Broadway: Candy Spelling, the widow of television executive Aaron Spelling, and one of the show’s producers, said the key is to “give 500 percent. I’m a perfectionist. I have a lot of energy. I didn’t go to bed until 5 a.m. last night.” She’s been working on the show’s merchandising.

“It should be stuff that people want to buy,” Spelling said. Products on sale at the theater include a notebook and a paper cube with pictures of the cast.

Another idea: selling the turquoise bow-tie Radcliffe wears in the show; several guests had tried to match the tie, and ribbon imitations of the original (custom made by Brooks Brothers) popped out of the flower arrangements at the party.

(Amanda Gordon is a writer and photographer for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. Any opinions expressed are her own.)

To contact the writer on this story: Amanda Gordon in New York at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Manuela Hoelterhoff at

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