Shabbat and Holiday music: Soulful melodies at the festive table, heartfelt synagogue prayers, an inspiring cantor whose rendition of the ancient verses opens hearts and seems to pierce the heavens.

Broadway music: Stage makeup, flashing lights and cameras, glitz and glamour, a dynamic performing star whose rendition may reach Variety's Critics Choice or get rave New York Times reviews.

These diverse musical worlds seem inherently discordant and impossible to harmonize. But Dudu Fisher found his way to stardom and fame without compromising either. Indeed, the dynamic tension between these two movements is a hallmark of Dudu's unique symphony.

Dudu returned to see the show for four consecutive nightsBorn in Petach Tikva, Israel in 1951, Dudu began his singing career as a cantor. He studied under the famous Cantor Shlomo Ravitz. At 22, he was invited to be the cantor at the Great Synagogue in Allenby Street, Tel Aviv. Dudu soon was known as one the world's leading cantors.

On a visit to London in 1986, Dudu saw Les Miserables. "I was taken by storm. I sat there thinking, 'I must do this!'" he recalls, although he had no theatre experience. Hooked, Dudu returned to see the show for four consecutive nights. Upon his return to Israel, Dudu learned of the show's upcoming production in Hebrew, and was subsequently chosen to star in the musical.

His successful rendition brought him international recognition, a royal command performance hosted by the Queen of England, and an invitation to assume the starring role of Jean Valjean on Broadway and on London's West End. Many talented young people flock to New York with stars in their eyes, ready to compromise everything to get their big break. Not Dudu. At the brink of a new level of fame, he had the dedication and tenacity to hold on tight to his faith and principles.

"My first big Broadway act was my refusal to work on Shabbat. No Friday night show; no Saturday matinee. This may well be my biggest act ever.

"No one did it before, to my knowledge, and I honestly don't know if I'd be tough enough to do it again. It was a miracle - the right combination of an understanding producer and other factors."

The miracle did not appear on a silver platter. "The negotiations were excruciating. There were many issues such as Shabbat, alien immigrant status, and the union."

"I was torn, and friends suggested I ask the Lubavitcher Rebbe for his advice and blessing. How do you approach the Rebbe regarding a Broadway show? It didn't seem right. But in the end I did, and after speaking with the Rebbe and receiving his blessing – it happened. I finally reached an agreement with the producer and everyone was happy."

"My Shabbat in many places used to be a lonely experience in a hotel room""I do Chabad benefits in far flung places like Russia, Thailand and Hong Kong. Chabad has changed the world. I travel a lot, and see such a big difference between 18-20 years ago and today. My Shabbat in many places used to be a lonely experience in a hotel room with a jar of gefilte fish. I'd make kiddush and cry. Now, most anywhere I go there is kosher food, a minyan, a community and a welcoming Chabad family that makes me feel at home."

Dudu's first one-man show revolves around his fascinating experience as a Shabbat observant Jew on Broadway.

"I call my life story 'Never on Friday!' It's received rave reviews in the New York Times. People are very moved. They come up and say, 'We never thought someone like you could make it.' I tell them, 'I'm not here to force Shabbat on you; you are free to learn from it whatever you want. If you really believe in yourself and you're good, you can succeed without compromising. Don't make Shabbat, or your ideals, pay for your success, for more than the Jews kept Shabbat, Shabbat has kept the Jews.'"

"Sometimes I'm down and lonely, being away from my family, but I'm in a unique position to share the message that being Jewish doesn't stop your success. Maybe other obstacles are really the issue."

Dudu is sensitive to the cultural nuances of the places he visits. "I adjust my show to each crowd. In Russia I sing more Yiddish and Chassidic numbers. In hot and emotional South America it's more upbeat. American audiences like more stories and show-tunes."

What looks like an effortless performance is actually the result of meticulous planning"One of the most moving concerts for me took place in the days before perestroika. I was the first Israeli artist allowed to sing in the Soviet Union, and thousands of Jews flocked to parch their great thirst for Jewish culture. I was able to complete a circle, by singing in my father's hometown of Dubnow, Ukraine."

What looks like an effortless performance is actually the result of meticulous planning and effort. "When choosing one particular song out of hundreds, I look for one with a message that really expresses my feelings. If I try a song and I'm not 100% into it, I don't do it."

Asked for his favorite song, Dudu passionately replied, "Whatever I sing I love, and choose after much thought. The whole program, the dialogue, stories and songs are carefully constructed; one leads to the next. I'm sometimes asked, 'Can you just take this or that out?' I can't without breaking the chain."

Dudu's repertoire includes liturgical, Chassidic, opera and popular American and Israeli songs. Which does he like best? "Music is music is music – each form stands for itself!" he responds. Enjoying each kind may be easy, but singing them is not. "Each style has a different technique. I had a great voice teacher in Israel who gave me a good foundation and taught me various techniques."

"In the early 2000's, I was stuck on a plateau. I thought, 'It's hard to make it work - a singer in a kippah. Les Miserables was a miracle, and unlikely to happen again.' I met with Richard Jay Alexander, former right hand man to Cameron McIntosh, the world producer of Les Miserables."

Richard listened to Dudu's problem, and put his creative mind to work. "You should do a one-man show," he suggested.

"What can I sing or say? I'm all dried up," Dudu forlornly replied. Richard enthusiastically reminded him, "You did two things in New York – 'Les Mis' and 'Never on Friday.' When I put an ad in the New York Times for you, I sold one million dollars worth of tickets in one week! You have a following and they want to hear something new."

"I'll make a show for you," he offered.

Dudu continued, "Now he's so big – he's made shows for Barbara Streisand and the like – and his services are out of my league. He assured me that he'd partner with me, that he believed in me, and I'd make it big."

The show, "Something Old, Something New" was a smashing success, full of Dudu's trademark vibrant energy. As Victor Gluck of Backstage wrote, "The energy that Fisher radiates on stage can light a small city."

Dudu is indeed a wellspring of creative fireDudu is indeed a wellspring of creative fire, with over twenty albums, numerous theater roles, television and film appearances, and two more widely acclaimed one man shows, "Dudu Fisher, Coming to America," and "Jerusalem." A new milestone was recently reached, with Dudu giving a solo performance in Carnegie Hall, during which he received three standing ovations.

Imagine walking into a Shabbat service, and taking a seat. Right next to you is a guy under his tallit, housing a world-class voice of intense emotional capacity and beauty. Wouldn't you want and expect him to step up and be the cantor? "Nope!" insists Dudu. "On Shabbat I'm just a regular person. Not a performer. Performing is work for me. I have to prepare for it with sleep, eating certain things and so on. I sometimes lead the services in my neighborhood synagogue, but without all the flourish."

From Broadway to Holy Days, from Jean Valjean to soulful cantor, Dudu Fisher radiates an exuberant and contagious joie d'vivre and Jewish pride.