Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Long Road to Broadway

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Long Road to Broadway

Article excerpt

Auditioning for a Broadway show via YouTube isn't the way things are usually done. It certainly panned out, though, for Anthony Warlow, who's costarring in the revival of "Annie."

A native of Wollongong, Australia, Warlow is a star back home, but it's fair to say he would have gotten a communal "Who?" among American theatergoers as little as three months ago.

He was portraying Daddy Warbucks in an Australian production of "Annie" when he received an inquiry from an American casting agent about playing the role on Broadway. He was interested -- and confused.

"It was very flattering," he said in a phone conversation last week, "but I didn't know if it was an absolute offer. They'd seen me sing on YouTube."

Warlow, who'd never performed in the United States, would have had to cancel the last stops on his Australian tour, and he wasn't keen on coming to New York if it only meant he'd be in a competition for the role.

He spoke with the show's director, James Lapine, but that didn't enlighten him, and theater etiquette prevented him from asking. "I didn't feel I could say, 'Have I got it?' " he said.

Things moved forward, though. There were negotiations, and Warlow got the role, soon finding himself flying to New York to begin rehearsals.

That's when he found out who his champion had been.

He'd been put forward by Martin Charnin, who'd had the original idea of making a musical from the "Li'l Orphan Annie" comic strip, wrote the lyrics and directed the original 1977 Broadway production, as well as many others through the years. …

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