Returning from Broadway, the oldest north-south main thoroughfare in New York City in the heart of the American theatre industry, Australian born superstar performer Anthony Warlow will lead an all new production of Fiddler on the Roof , the iconic stage musical, which has captured the hearts and imaginations of audiences around the world for over 50 years.
Faith, hope, love and acceptance are defining characteristics of the short story by author and playwright Sholem Aleichem (1859-1915), ‘Tevye and His Daughters’ on which the musical is based. It starts in 1905 in a small village in Tsarist Russia where the local milkman Tevye has five daughters. Tzeitel wants to marry a poor tailor she is in love with, not the middle-aged local butcher her father has chosen for her ‘arranged marriage’. This is an ongoing tradition in their faith and family, whose lives are defined by their beliefs; Judaism, the religion of the Jewish people based on monotheism, the belief in one God.
Fiddler on the Roof the musical won many hearts and minds when it appeared first at the Imperial Theatre on Broadway in 1964, written by Joseph Stein and based on a short story. By 1972 it had become the longest running musical on Broadway and went on to win ten Tony awards, Best Musical, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress and Best Director, as well as awards for author, producer, choreographer, costume designer, composer and lyricist.
In 1971, the movie version, starring Topol was nominated for Best Picture and picked up three Academy Awards.
Opening at Melbourne’s Princess Theatre on December 29th, 2015 and running for six weeks only, a limited season in Sydney will also follow at the historic inner city Capitol Theatre from March 24th 2016.
This much-loved show The New York Times called “…one of the most glowing creations in the history of musical theatre” will be sure to attract a crowd.
With a celebrated score by Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick, featuring songs such as Sunrise Sunset, If I were a Rich Man and Tradition there is no doubt this new production will wow the crowds for the first time, as well as those who keep coming back for more.
She will certainly bring gravitas and a wealth of stage experience to this role.
Well loved on Australian television for her role in SeaChange on ABC TV 1998-2000, Sigrid Thornton has appeared in films now regarded as classics of the Australian cinema.
Having loved the theatre all her life, she played Blanche Du Bois in the Perth based Black Swan Theatre’s production of A Streetcar Named Desire in 2014 breaking all records for the company with an extended sell out season accompanied by rave reviews.
Her recent role playing Judy Garland in the two part TV Mini Series Peter Allen: Not the Boy Next Door (2015) was a triumph. It was not surprising that she took home the AACTA award this year as best supporting actress.
Sigrid Thornton toured nationally to great success in English playwright Alan Bennett’s wonderful play Talking Heads, and also played alongside Anthony Warlow in Stephen Sondheim’s A Little Night music for Opera Australia in Sydney and Melbourne.
Tevye’s daughters in Fiddler on the Roof will be Tzeitel played by Teagan Wouters (Dirty Dancing) with Monica Swayne (Wicked) as Hoddel, Jessica Vickers (NIDA) as Chava and making their professional adult musical theatre debuts are Madeline Perrone and Sara Reed as Sprintze and Bielke.
ARIA award winner Lior will play the role of Motel. One of Australia’s most successful young singer- songwriters with his self-released debut Autumn Flow, achieving gold and numerous prestigious award nominations, Lior has an impressive legion of fans in Australia and around the world.
Mark Mitchell who endeared himself to a generation of Australians playing Con the Fruiterer on TV, will play Lazar Wolf, the wealthy butcher.
Currently playing Shaun Micallef’s on screen wife in ABC’s The Ex PM, Nikki Wendt will play the role of Yente, the meddlesome village matchmaker.
Perchik will be played by Blake Bowden (Blood Brothers), Avram by Andrew Kroenert (City of Angels) and Fyedeka by Jensen Overend (Nice Work if You Can Get It). Sara Grenfell (Sunset Boulevard) takes on the role of Fruma-Sarah, while the Rabbi is Derek Taylor.
Completing the cast in the ensemble are Prue Bell, Jared Bryan, Zoe Coppenger, Zack Curran, Mark Doggett, Matt Douglass Brett Fisher, David Hammond, Glen Hogstrom, Jennifer Peers, Matthew Predney, Annie Stanford, Darren Tyler and David Whitney.
Warlow has a thrilling lyrical baritone voice and a wondrous gift for character interpretation and is well experienced in treading the boards. More recently he has starred as Daddy Warbucks in the hit musical Annie, both on its first Australian run and a new US production (2012) directed by James Lapine on Broadway.
Since then he has also played the role of Charles Frohman-James Hook in the smash Broadway hit musical, Finding Neverland.
He was awarded the Joan Sutherland Scholarship in 1981 to further his career in opera, following a triumphant debut in composer Benjamin Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream,
Roles in operas such as The Magic Flute, La Bohème, Tosca, Othello, The Tales of Hoffman (with Dame Joan Sutherland), Romeo and Juliet and, the immortal Don Giovanni set him up superbly for a splendid career in the world of music.
His musical theatre career began in 1985 and his role of Enjolras in Les Miserables 1988.
He was so successful the role won him a place on the Grammy Award winning International cast recording of the work.
Anthony Warlow also appeared in such musicals as Man Of La Mancha, My Fair Lady, Dr Zhivago, Grease the Arena Spectacular and A Little Night Music, as well as many Gilbert & Sullivan comic operettas.
His role as the Phantom of the Opera (1990) won so many hearts in 1998 he was honoured in Australia as a Living National Treasure.
Warlow has in his career to date battled deadly lymphoma, produced many successful albums and has received a myriad of industry awards.
He was invited to help celebrate the 25th Anniversary of The Phantom of the Opera at London’s Royal Albert Hall in October 2011.
This new Australian musical theatre production of Fiddler on the Roof will be produced by Tim Lawson for The Works Entertainment, (The Illusionists, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, A Chorus Line), and re-imagined by acclaimed director Roger Hodgman (Chitty Chitty Bang Bang).
It also features original award winning choreography by Jerome Robbins (West Side Story) under the watchful eye of Resident Choreographer, Dana Jolly (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels).
Completing the creative team is Set Designer, Richard Roberts; Light Designer, Paul Jackson and Sound Designer, Michael Waters.
Fiddler on the Roof is a theatrical experience not to be missed, suitable for audiences young and old.
Carolyn McDowall, The Culture Concept Circle, 2015