Though he may not have pulled the same crowd that Darren Criss did, hundreds of fans still took to the street for Nick Jonas’ premier performance in the hit revival How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.
Jonas, whose performance we previewed yesterday, almost sold out the 1,400-seat Al Hirschfeld Theatre, where the musical has been playing for 11 months. (Despite running for almost a year, top names like Jonas, Glee star Criss – who departed the role on Sunday – and original star Daniel Radcliffe have proven just how How to Succeed succeeds.) Fans started lining up outside the theater as early as yesterday morning, just to catch a glimpse of the youngest Jonas before he entered the Hirschfeld for his first show. Others, even without tickets, cemented a spot in front of the stage door to catch him on his way out after the performance.
One merchandise seller at the theater remarked that the crowd was in fact slightly smaller than the turnout for Criss’ debut, but for every rabid Gleek, there was an equally excited Jonatic. And for those like me who were wondering if the love for the Jonas Brothers has faded in recent months, the massive turnout (and audible squeals whenever a black Escalade came even remotely close to the theater) should prove otherwise. “The love is still there,” said Vanessa Jovel, an 18-year-old from Manhattan who followed Nick throughout the day with an estimated hundred other girls. “True fans will stick by him for whatever he does. He’s very prepared for this, and I think all the fans will like it.”
Cynthia Rivera, 18, added: “As soon as he came to New York, we figured out where he was rehearsing, and we put two and two together … I feel so special. Not everyone has that opportunity.”
And you’d better believe there were some enthusiastic moms there, too. They call themselves “Jomoms,” which is, of course, totally normal. “I came out here with my daughter for her 21st birthday to see Darren, but then we found out Nick was coming, so I said, ‘We’re staying to see Nick!’” said Cindy Campen, 56, who flew in from Colorado with her daughter Caitlyn. “I think they’re really good, wholesome boys. He’s going to be fantastic.”
Diehard fans outside the theater insisted that Jonas would excel in the role, even though he hadn’t even performed yet. And even if he’s not perfect (he has six months to get it right, anyway), they’ll still be back. “He’s amazing, and his fans are loyal,” said Michelle Cuce, 20. “We’re not going anywhere.”