Hairspray's Rockwell to Design Sets for Fiddler Revival

News   Hairspray's Rockwell to Design Sets for Fiddler Revival David Rockwell, who designed the sets for this season's mammoth hit Hairspray, has signed on to the upcoming Broadway revival of Fiddler on the Roof.

Variety reports that Rockwell, who made his Broadway design debut with the recent Rocky Horror Show revival, will create the sets for next season's Fiddler production starring Alfred Molina. Rockwell told the industry paper, "Fiddler is the first show I ever saw. It was instrumental in my becoming interested in the theatre. And I've always been a fan of Boris Aronson's work." Aronson created the Tony-nominated sets for the original production of Fiddler.

"To reimagine Aronson's work for 'Fiddler' is incredibly challenging," Rockwell added, although his designs have not yet been formulated. "When you go into the design process and you know the answer ahead of time, it is not interesting."

Rockwell heads the 90-person architecture and design firm, Rockwell Group, whose projects have included the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles, W New York and W Union Square hotels in Manhattan and the Cirque du Soleil Theater in Orlando.

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Alfred Molina — who currently portrays Diego Rivera in Miramax's "Frida" — will head the cast of a new Broadway revival of Fiddler on the Roof. The New York Times reports that the Nederlander Organization will produce a revival of the classic musical in fall 2003. Molina will star in the role of Tevye, immortalized on stage by Zero Mostel and on screen by Topol, under the direction of Matthew Warchus.

Based on the stories by Sholom Aleichem, Fiddler on the Roof features a book by Joseph Stein with a score by Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick. The original production opened at Broadway's Imperial Theatre in September 1964. Starring Zero Mostel, Maria Karnilova and Bea Arthur, the show played 3,242 performances before closing July 2, 1972. That production won Tony Awards for Best Musical, Best Actor in a Musical (Zero Mostel), Best Featured Actress in a Musical (Maria Karnilova), Best Book (Author) of a Musical (Joseph Stein), Best Producer of a Musical (Harold Prince), Best Director of a Musical (Jerome Robbins), Best Composer and Lyricist (Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick), Best Costume Designer (Patricia Zipprodt) and Best Choreographer (Robbins).

Three revivals have since played the Great White Way, in 1976, 1981 and 1990. The most recent production played the Gershwin Theatre and starred Topol and Marcia Lewis as, respectively, Tevye and his wife Golde. The 1971 film, with direction by Norman Jewison, featured Topol and Norma Crane.

Alfred Molina was nominated for a Tony Award for his work in the three person Broadway play Art and starred in the TV series "Ladies Man." On the London stage the actor was seen in Serious Money, Speed-the Plow and Night of the Iguana.