The 12-time Emmy Award winner was ready to start her engagement as Golde, the steely mother in the classic musical, and went on for her first performance at 3 PM. Her "official" first show is Sept. 20.
O'Donnell stars opposite the Tevye of Tony Award winner Harvey Fierstein. About his new co-star, Fierstein said in a statement, "As a 20-year friend of Rosie's, I couldn't be happier that we will finally share a stage together. With her understanding of Fiddler's important place in theatrical history, I am positive she will uphold that tradition excitingly."
Fiddler marks O'Donnell's third Broadway outing. The actress made her Broadway debut as Rizzo in the 1994 revival of Grease!, and she played a limited engagement as the Cat in the Hat in the Ahrens-Flaherty musical Seussical. The performer also spent some time on the other side of the footlights as producer of the Broadway version of Boy George's Taboo.
The current cast of Fiddler on the Roof includes Christopher Perry Cardona, Patrick Heusinger, Philip Hoffman, Sally Murphy, Tricia Paoluccio, Richard Poe, Laura Shoop, Paul Anthony Stewart, Michael Therriault, David Wohl, George Bartenieff, Neal Benari, Hannah DelMonte, Chris Ghelfi, Jason Lacayo Alison Walla, Jennifer Babiak, Randy Bobish, Shane Braddock, Enrique Brown, Kristin Carbone, Dana Lynn Caruso, Rachel Coloff, Craig D'Amico, Joy Hermalyn, Mitchell Jarvis, Jeff Lewis, Mark Moreau, Alphonse Paolillo, Roger Rosen, Daniel Rudin, Haviland Stillwell, Michael Tommer, Francis Toumbakaris, Ann Van Cleave, Robert Wersinger, Lori Wilner, Bruce Winant, Gustavo Wons, Adam Zotovich and Nancy Opel.
* O'Donnell rose to fame as a stand-up comic before landing roles in such films as "A League of Their Own," "Sleepless in Seattle," "The Flintsones" and "Exit to Eden." Her Emmy-winning talk show, "The Rosie O'Donnell Show," ran from 1996 to 2001, and her more recent TV credits include appearances on "Will & Grace" and "Queer as Folk" as well as the made-for-television movie "Riding the Bus with My Sister." She will also appear on "Curb Your Enthusiasm" this season.
O'Donnell is married to Kelli Carpenter O'Donnell; the couple have four children. O'Donnell's autobiography is titled "Find Me."
The Broadway revival of Fiddler on the Roof — directed by David Leveaux — will play its final performance at the Minskoff Theatre Jan. 8, 2006. The Minskoff is at 200 West 45th Street; call (212) 307-4100 for tickets.