It's Official: Leveaux Is Bway Fiddler Director; Previews Begin Jan. 17, 2004

News   It's Official: Leveaux Is Bway Fiddler Director; Previews Begin Jan. 17, 2004 One of the worst-kept secrets in the theatre community is now official: David Leveaux, director of the current Broadway revival of Nine, will stage Broadway's new Fiddler on the Roof in 2003-04.

David Leveaux
David Leveaux

Previews begin at the Minskoff Theatre Jan. 17, 2004, with an opening set for Feb. 12. Nederlander Presentations is producing. Alfred Molina (Art) will star as Russian-Jewish dairyman Tevye in the internationally acclaimed musical by Joseph Stein (book), Sheldon Harnick (lyrics) and Jerry Bock (music).

The Jerome Robbins choreography will be recreated, a spokesman said, though a choreographer has not been announced to execute it.

Leveaux's name has been bandied about for months as the likely Fiddler man. Casting notices in New York this spring indicated Leveaux as director and Nine's Jonathan Butterell as choreographer. Musical director is expected to be Kevin Stites, who is also the musical director of Nine.

The Minskoff Theatre was previously named as the place where the town of Anatevka, circa 1900, will take root. Fiddler concerns the traditions of a family headed by Tevye the Milkman, whose five daughters (or at least three of them) are yearning for personal change even as greater changes are happening in the world.

The international sensation from 1964 was inspired by the stories of Sholom Aleichem and spawned such songs as "If I Were a Rich Man," "Matchmaker, Matchmaker," "Sunrise, Sunset" and "To Life." 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.

Director Leveaux's recent work in New York includes The Real Thing, Betrayal, Electra, A Moon for the Misbegotten and Anna Christie. His recently staged Jumpers for the Royal National Theatre in London. He was Tony-nominated for his work on Nine. He had previously staged the Maury Yeston musical in London and Argentina.

Jerome Robbins was Fiddler's original director- choreographer. Harold Prince was the original producer.

Three revivals of Fiddler have played Broadway — 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.

RCA recently released an enhanced version of the show's original album, with extra tracks that offer cut songs, special instrumental renderings and an interview with lyricist Sheldon Harnick.