G'day, Daddy! Australian Star Anthony Warlow Lands Role of Annie's Warbucks
By Kenneth Jones
Anthony Warlow, the Australian stage star, is about to become a billionaire on Broadway. No — not as a producer. The opera and musical-theatre actor who has distinguished himself Down Under will play industrialist Oliver "Daddy" Warbucks in the new Broadway revival of the musical Annie.
Warlow will star opposite the previously announced two-time Tony Award winner Katie Finneran as Miss Hannigan and 11-year-old Lilla Crawford (Billy Elliot) as red-headed orphan Annie. Warlow's casting was reported in Australian media June 2; the Broadway producers confirmed the news to Playbill.com on June 3.
Annie, the Tony Award-winning musical comedy based on the comic strip "Little Orphan Annie," opens Nov. 8 at the Palace Theatre. Previews begin Oct. 3. Additional casting will be announced; the show's other moppets were previously revealed.
Warlow is no stranger to the bald pate, bleached spats and gruff Republican demeanor of Warbucks: He is currently playing the capitalist in a separate Australian production of Annie in Melbourne. That staging, produced by John Frost, premiered in December 2011 at Sydney's Lyric Theatre; Warlow also played Warbucks in a previous revival of Annie in 2000 (he premiered a new song, "Why Should I Change a Thing?," in that revival.)
Warlow said in a statement, "I am delighted to finally make my Broadway debut at the great Palace Theatre and in the exciting new production of this wonderful musical. I look forward to working with the talented [director] James Lapine and his fantastic cast and creative team."
Warlow is appearing with the permission of Actors' Equity Association.
Annie has music by Charles Strouse, lyrics by Martin Charnin and book by Thomas Meehan. All three won Tonys for writing the show.
Tony Award winner Andy Blankenbuehler (In the Heights) will choreograph.
Warlow made his music debut with the Australian Opera at the age of 19 in Benjamin Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream. His opera credits include The Magic Flute, La Bohème, Tosca, Otello, The Tales of Hoffman (with Dame Joan Sutherland), Romeo and Juliet and Don Giovanni.
His musical-theatre career began in 1985 with the London National Theatre's production of Guys and Dolls. He created the role of Enjolras in the Australian production of Les Miserables, and is heard on the Grammy Award-winning International Cast recording. Other productions include The Secret Garden, Man of La Mancha, My Fair Lady, Grease the Arena Spectacular, A Little Night Music and a number of Gilbert & Sullivan's operettas.
Warlow played the title role of The Phantom of the Opera (1990 and 2007-09) in Australia. He has also released solo albums. In 2011, he created the role of Dr. Yurii Zhivago in the Australian premiere production of Doctor Zhivago: the Musical, based on the Nobel Prize winning novel by Boris Pasternak, with a score by Lucy Simon (The Secret Garden).
Annie will go on sale to American Express cardholders on June 6 at 10 AM. For tickets, call (800) 755-3000 or visit Ticketmaster.com.
Tickets will be available to the general public on June 25. For groups of 12 or more, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more, visit AnnieTheMusical.com.
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