BWW Interviews: Anthony Fedorov, Joseph in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at Atlanta¬'s Fox Theatre, June 21 - 26.
"Any Dream Will Do" sings the title character, Joseph, in Andrew Lloyd Webber's classic musical, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. But for Anthony Fedorov, the former American Idol contestant and recording artist, who will don the multi-colored coat when that same show arrives at the Fox on June 26, those words aren't just lyrics in a play, but the theme of his own career that has evolved over the past 6 years. I had the chance to catch up with Anthony and talk about the show, his upcoming record and his musical journey so far.
BWW: Anthony, thanks so much for taking the time to talk with me today. I am excited to hear about the show and I know our readers will be too. We are really looking forward to Joseph in Atlanta!
Anthony Fedorov: Yeah, me too!
Let's start by talking about theatre. I am sure many of our readers will know you from your time on American Idol, but have you always been interested in doing theatre?
Well, it is something that I kind of fell into, to be honest. When I got off of American Idol my main focus was to try and get a deal and use that momentum to start my recording career. I happened to audition for The Fantasticks in New York in 2007 and it's just something that kind of happened by accident. Ever since that show I fell in love with musical theatre and it's now something that I absolutely love. It is one of the most unique art forms out there, and definitely the hardest art form, not just singing or dancing or acting, but everything combined and eight shows a week. If you are not ready for it it is going to break you down. It definitely has made me into a better artist altogether.
And Joseph seems to be a role you have had the chance to play rather often in the last few years, has it not?
AbsolutelY. Joseph, again is something that happens to follow me, which has been, honestly, the biggest blessing. I had never heard of the play until I actually started doing it, but then again, I didn't know much about musical theatre in the first place because it was not something I was focusing on. I got the opportunity to do Joseph the first time in Oklahoma City at the Lyric Theatre and it was something that was so different for me. The Fantasticks was such a small intimate show, but this was my first big stage performance and it really blew me away. What I love about Joseph is that I can really lose myself in this character. It is very liberating because even though the show is goofy and corny at times, the bottom line is that underneath that there is a real story and the show allows me to live my insecurities and my fears out loud. I have been down plenty of times and I still get down and I struggle just like Joseph does, and at the end of the play when I get that coat back in my hands, that coat represents all my dreams and all my hopes, everything that I want to accomplish and it's a nice reminder that no matter how tough things are, sooner or later I am going to get that coat, I am going to get those dreams and make it happen. It has been very rejuvinating for me artistically and personally to be able to play this.
Let's talk about the show a bit. Having done the show and played Joseph myself, I know it is a unique show being completely sung through. As a singer, how does that compare to a traditional book musical?
I think it is definitely a lot easier to just sing everything. I could memorize a whole book if you give me a melody to it. It was definitely a challenge for me to memorize the speaking dialog [in The Fantasticks] but that was the fun part because it wasn't easy. I really would love to do a play where I don't do any singing at all because that would be a new challenge.
And talking about Joseph, the character, what part of playing the role do you like the most? What do you look forward to the most each night?
Well, the first thing I look forward to is the kids. I love kids, and I think that is the most rewarding part for me playing this role, being able to see the look at these kids faces when I come out for the first time and they are so excited, they are so into it. We have an audience watching us but you have your live audience right there on stage with you. They are interested and want to be a part of everything. These kids are counting on me to tell them a really good story and take them on a journey. That is the first thing I really look forward to. As for the play, I would have to say outside of my numbers, my favorites are the ones that the brothers sing, like "Canaan Days." As far as my numbers go, I would say "Close Every Door" would be my favorite, and not just because it is my moment, but I appreciate it because it is the lowest point that Joseph gets and I can really tap into the problems and difficulties that I have faced throughout my life. My other favorite number is when I reunite with my father and get the coat back, so those two extremes are my two favorite parts of the show.
You mentioned the children in the show. What is it like working with them?
It is exciting, because they are there to be a part of the show and they want to do the best they can to make the show exciting. I love seeing new faces and when I get to talk to them and see how excited they get. I like giving all the kids high fives at the end of the show to let them know they did a great job, so it is lots of fun. I love encouraging kids and making them feel comfortable and allowing them to have a good time. When I did Joseph in Oklahoma City, Diana DeGarmo was our narrator and she told me she had always wanted to play that part and so many kids tell me they want to play Joseph or the Narrator one day, so that creative side starts at a young age and I think that is really great.
So, beyond this show, what's next for you? I know you have a new album coming out, right? Tell us a little about that.
This is really exciting because I have been working towards this point for the last six years. I have my first record coming out, it is called "Never Over." The initial relaease is going to be an EP with six songs, all original songs, written or co-written by me. It is very exciting to introduce myself as a writer for the first time as well as a recording artist. My single, which is called "You're Perfect" is coming out on June 29th and will be out on iTunes, www.anthonyfedorov.com and the label's site, www.airgomusic.com. It is a pop/rock record, it's a top 40, Daughtry/Nickelback/Coldplay/U2 type record. I would definitely say that when people hear it they won't expect to hear what they are going to hear. What people remember me doing on American Idol was ballads, but it has been 6 years and my voice has gotten deeper and has developed a lot of color and a lot of strength. I am realy excited to introduce this part of myself. I would say my journey begins on June 29th when we release the single. My record will be released sometime in July, but we will start with the single first. I am really excited about it all.
Any other theatre for you in the future?
I can never get away from theatre. It really is hard to escape it and I love the work, the challenge, the comraderie of my castmates, and just being able to go out there and act. I never looked at myself as an actor, and never went to acting school so this has been my school each time I get on the stage. My main goal is to become a successful recording artist, I would love to win a grammy, but at the same time I also want to have a consistent theatre career, both musicals and plays, and if I have a chance to do some film or TV along the way that would be great. I will never be able to get away from it now because with the bug, once you get it you can't escape it.
So have you ever been to Atlanta/performed at the Fox?
We came through Atlanta on the Idol tour in 2005, but I have never been to the Fox Theatre and I am really looking forward to it, I have heard a lot of really cool things about it, it has a lot of history.
Before we finish, I would like to ask you about your work with the Sarcoma Foundation.
I lost my brother to Ewing's Sarcoma, and it is something that is not easy to deal with. I started working with this organization shortly after he passed and I spent the first two years being the official spokesperson. I am not an official spokesperson anymore, but I am on the board of directors and always talk about the disease and have been trying to raise funds to give out research grants. I have really been in cancer awareness mode over these last five years. I strongly urge people to go to their website and read about sarcoma cancers. One of the best we can do is make people more aware. The website is www.curesarcoma.org.
Anthony I really appreciate you taking the time to talk with me today. Is there anything else you would like to share with the readers?
I think we have it all covered. Just check out the single when it releases on June 29th!
Theater of the Stars presents Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, with an award winning score by the legendary composing team of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta for 8 performances from Tuesday, June 21 through Sunday, June 26. Tickets range from $25 to $65 and are on sale now at www.theaterofthestars.com. Discounted group tickets for 15 or more can be purchased by calling or online at www.foxtheatre.org/groupsales.aspx.