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Nick Jonas' How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying EP

Nick Jonas uses his well-known image as a boy-next-door type -- not to mention his not insubstantial vocal charisma -- to superlative effect on Broadway Records' just-released five-track EP for the Broadway revival of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, now playing at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre.

The recording is certainly de rigueur as a keepsake for anyone who's seen Jonas in the role of J. Pierrepont Finch as well as any of the singer's fans who've not had a chance to catch him in the musical. But most fans of the musical, or even musical theater in general -- will probably want a copy as the EP includes some particularly well-delivered versions of Frank Loesser's songs.

In playing the role of Finch, a seemingly sweet young man conniving his way up the corporate ladder, Jonas combines infectious go-getter enthusiasm with a sure musicality, deftly traversing Loesser's staccato rhythms and minor melodic shifts. Indeed, in the show's title song, there's an almost-innocence in Jonas' vocals that perfectly complement Anderson Cooper's dry and slightly ironic work as the narrator of the "how-to" book inspiring Jonas' character.

Equally impressive is the sense of romantic wonderment that he brings to the duet "Rosemary" (shared with Rose Hemingway) and the blend of a sweetly endearing nervousness and self-assured power that he demonstrates in the anthemic "I Believe in You." On the album's rousing final track, "The Brotherhood of Man," Jonas' vocals have a delightful jauntiness.

The EP also gives listeners a chance to savor one other sublime performance from the show: Rob Bartlett's vocals are simply adorable as he plays a sadsack mail room clerk sharing the duet "The Company Way" with Jonas.

And, even though this release is just a five-track EP, the recording arrives as a first-class package with a full color booklet, chock-full of photographs that's worthy of a full-length cast recording.


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