by Melissa Griegel
MG: Hi Andrew! Can you give me a little background about your theatre experience and producing credits?
AH: Sure! “Fiddler” is my 4th national tour. I’ve performed in the national tours of Jekyll and Hyde, Bullets Over Broadway (1st National Tour), Kinky Boots (both the US and Asia tour) and Fiddler (1st National Tour).
As far as producing, Be More Chill Broadway was my Broadway Debut as a co-producer. I’ve also Co-Produced BMC in London as well as the upcoming Chicago production. I began my producing career working for Tony and Grammy winning producer, Van Dean as a producing associate with Broadway Records.
MG: What roles did you play in Fiddler?
AH: I play the constable and I understudy Lazar Wolf.
MG: What was it like playing the “bad guy” in the show?
AH: I enjoy playing a “bad guy” but I also really love the challenge given to me by our director Bartlett Sher about trying to find the ways to make the audience understand why the constable does what he does.
MG: What are your thoughts on playing Lazar Wolf?
AH: Playing Lazar Wolf is so much fun. I particularly enjoy the chance to play with the comedy in the role. I think the “milk cow” scene with Tevye is such a brilliantly written scene and it’s so much fun to get to play that with Yehezkel Lazarov (our Tevye).
MG: When did the Fiddler tour start? When was your last show before the forced hiatus due to the coronavirus?
AH: The tour opened in October of 2018 and I joined the cast last summer, in July 2019. The tour was currently scheduled thru May 2020 (with additional dates into 2021 being added). Our last show, before the Covid-19 shut down, was Thursday 3/12 in Detroit. The tour is all US venues with the exception of an upcoming stop on our schedule in Montreal.
MG: What was the hardest part of being part of a touring company? And what was the most enjoyable aspect?
AH: One of the challenges with touring is being away from friends and family for extended periods of time. My favorite part of touring is getting to explore a new city every week or getting to return to favorite cities.
MG: Which are your three favorite theaters and why?
AH: Three of my favorite theaters in the country are: The Academy of Music in Philadelphia, The Pantages in Los Angeles, and The Fox in Detroit. They are all so incredibly stunning and have such incredible history associated with them.
MG: Which theater was the hardest to transform into Anatekva?
AH: As far as transforming into Anatevka, I’m not sure. Every venue is different and some are smaller than others for sure, but our amazing crew does incredible things to make sure the audience experience of our show is rarely affected. You are getting essentially the same show wherever you see it.
MG: Tell me about the The Fisher Theatre in Detroit, and the history with the show.
AH: The Fisher Theatre is stunning. They have maintained the design of that space impeccably. Fiddler on the Roof was essentially born at that theatre. It is the location of the first out of town tryout of the show. What an incredible honor we had to play that space and tell the same story all these years (nearly a half century) later.
MG:What was the biggest flub that happened during the tour – with actors or props or sound/lighting?
AH: None are coming to mind at the moment but, theatre is live, there are always little things.
MG: What was the reaction from the cast/crew when you found out the tour would be cut short?
AH: It’s a bit shocking, of course. This thing escalated so incredibly quickly that I think it’s taken everyone by complete surprise. As artists, we don’t really have residual income so if we are unable to work, we are unable to make money. The fact that no one knows how long this will last is very frightening.
MG: Have you kept in touch with cast-mates?
AH: We all keep in touch; but for the time being I think everyone is following the social distancing and self-isolation guidelines by staying home
MG: I heard you attended the opening of Be More Chill in London?
AH: I was thrilled to be at the opening of BMC London. Sadly, London has imposed similar guidelines as we have here, so all of the theatres are now shut down for an undetermined amount of time.
MG: Thank you so much for sharing a little behind-the-scenes of Fiddler with TheaterPizzazz, Andrew. I am so glad I got to see you on tour at the State Theater of New Jersey in December. I thought the bottle dance scene one of the best; the entire production beautifully sung, acted and danced.
Theater photos by Andrew Hendrick
Headshot by JT Photography
Fiddler photos by Nick Berke