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In the lead up to his show at QPAC, An Evening with Anthony Warlow, we caught up with the legendary star. The concert will give rare insight into Anthony’s life and will see him perform songs from his decades-long internationally acclaimed career.
Anthony has lived in both New York and Melbourne for a number of years. When talking about his favourite things about each city, he says there are similarities that thrill him on a cosmopolitan and artistic level.
“In New York, I love the ability to easily access any major iconic landmark and attraction – the Metropolitan Museum of Art for instance – is just a walk across the iconic Central Park,” says Anthony.
“Cheering at a Yankees baseball game or a stroll around Greenwich Village are experiences I cherish, and of course the ability to catch a Broadway musical or play on any given night!
“Then in Melbourne, being able to exist in a calmer atmosphere with an escape to beautiful places on a weekend drive along coastal roads or finding great restaurants and cosy cafes in the heart of the CBD, (when COVID allows), serve as a remedy to the sometimes exhausting fast pace of downtown Manhattan.”
And how has he kept his spirits up while living in one of the most locked down cities in the world?
“DIY projects including renovating, gardening and working on my cooking skills kept me busy during the lockdown periods.”
His sage advice for surviving lockdowns is “to create projects that will be interrupted by the easing of lockdown restrictions, rather than sitting in a frustrated sweat waiting for breaking news.”
Accompanied by Queensland Symphony Orchestra (QSO) conducted by Vanessa Scammell, An Evening with Anthony Warlow will be the first time Anthony has performed in front of a live audience since the beginning of the pandemic.
“To say it will be strange is an understatement,” says Anthony.
“When the pandemic hit Australia and a major musical I was about to embark on was cancelled, it gave me time to assess what I may have to adapt to when restrictions were lifted. I’m hoping that the innate sense of physical and emotional interaction with a live audience will catapult us back to a more comfortable feeling of normality, something I know we are all craving.”
For the concerts, Anthony will be joined by special guest and his life partner, Amanda Lea La Vergne whom he has performed with in productions and outside of the Broadway scene.
He regales us with a tale from a time when he and Amanda headlined a cruise some years ago.
“While we had a sea bound captive audience, we were ourselves captive on a cruise (my first) filled with adoring fans who had access to us 24/7. I will cherish the experience as a learning curve. Singing in gale force conditions and learning to remain upright while performing duets et al – it certainly ticked a box on my bucket list,” he says.
Anthony has performed many times at QPAC including in The Phantom of the Opera, Annie and The Wizard of Oz and says he always looks forward to returning to Brisbane.
“Queensland audiences are fantastic. They always greet us with warmth and somehow allow performers to work in a relaxed and creative environment, which in my opinion, generates a far more honest and better performance all round.”
While most Australians would have an idea of Anthony’s career and professional life, interview segments hosted by ABC’s Christopher Lawrence will allow the star to discuss other facets of his life that have influenced his career path as well as anecdotes that have never been shared publicly.
Anthony says audiences can expect an evening of song and hopefully some laughs, peppered with a few life stories and some songs he has not sung before in concert. He also highlights he will be joining forces with the “extraordinary QSO”.
We ask Anthony for some tidbits about him to give our audiences before the show:
Favourite song: Lily’s Eyes (from The Secret Garden)
Favourite composers: Lucy Simon and Stephen Sondheim
Favourite musical: “I can’t give just one!” The Secret Garden, Man of La Mancha, and Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.
Life philosophy: Be true to yourself
We pay our respects to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ancestors of this land, their spirits and their legacy. The foundations laid by these ancestors - our First Nations Peoples - gives strength, inspiration and courage to current and future generations, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous, towards creating a better Queensland. Queensland Government’s RAP Acknowledgment of Country