‘Fiddler’ opens run at CHT
CHURCH HILL — “Fiddler on the Roof,” the universally popular musical currently playing on Broadway, begins its three-week run at Church Hill Theatre on Friday, June 10. Director Sylvia Maloney leads more than 50 singers, dancers, musicians and crew members in this heartwarming tale of love caught between traditional values and modern aspirations at the beginning of the 20th centur y.
Tevye, a poor Jewish dairyman in Tsarist Russia, worries about providing for his wife and five daughters — always a relevant struggle. Golde, his shrewish wife, and Yente, the village matchmaker, plot to find prosperous husbands for the daughters. The girls have other ideas, hoping to marry on their own terms, even if the men they love are poor — or not even Jewish. Set amidst pogroms and political turmoil, the villagers of 1905 Anatevka strive to find a safe and fulfilling future in a rapidly changing world.
“Fiddler on the Roof,” with music by Jerry Bock, lyrics by Sheldon Harnick and book by Joseph Stein, is based on “Tevye and his Daughters,” by Sholem Aleichem. The show, originally starring Zero Mostel, opened on Broadway in 1964 and was the first musical in history to play more than 3,000 performances— a record it held almost ten years. “Fiddler” won nine Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Score, Book, Direction and Choreography. The film version was the highest grossing movie of 1971 and was nominated for eight Oscars.
In Church Hill Theatre’s production, Tevye is played by Herb Ziegler. His wife Golde is portrayed by Debra Ebersole and his five daughters by Kristi McNiece, Becca Van Aken, Grace McCreary, Maya McGrory and Lindsay McCowan. Kathy Jones is Yente, the matchmaker. Suitors are played by Mark Wiening, Matt Folker, Robert Branning and John Beck. Bob Chauncey, Will Covington, Caleb McNiece, Jusden Messick, and Michael Whitehill portray the men of Anatevka. Heather JoyceByers and Jean Leverage play characters in a fantastical dream, and Cavin Moore is the Fiddler. Other villagers are played by Jim Johnson, Elliott Morotti, Bryce Sullivan, Stefan Tisdale, Kylie Sommer, Kelly Ostazeski and Alyson Farnell.
Director Maloney is ably assisted by Musical Director Matt Davis and Choreographer Cavin Moore. Two youth Stage Managers, Morgan Armstrong and Katie Sardo, are advised by veteran Shannon Whitaker. Pianist Marie Harrison is the rehearsal pianist. Michael Whitehill and Brian Draper designed the set, and Draper also honed the artistic design. Doug Kaufmann is responsible for lighting design with the help of Kat Melton, while Henley Moore provides the sound. Debbie Ebersole, Tina Johnson and Erma Johnson devised the period costumes. Bernadette Alderson advised on hair and makeup and Pat Patterson provided the publicity photographs.
Matt Davis conducts the talented orchestra for “Fiddler:” Marie Harrison, piano; Tom Anthony, bass; Ann Baldwin, clarinet; Ron Demby, clarinet/flute; Ray Diedrichs, trumpet; Frank Gerber, percussion; Jane Godfrey, violin; Jim Pileggi, trombone; and Alphonso Ramirez, violin.
“Fiddler on the Roof” runs from June 10 to June 26, with performances at 8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. on Sundays. Tickets are $20 for adults, $15 for CHT members, and $10 for students. Discounted pricing is available for groups of 10 or more. Reservations for “Fiddler on the Roof” are strongly recommended, as CHT summer musicals tend to sell out. Call the CHT office at 410-556-6003 or visit online at www.churchhillthe atre.org.
Three leading couples, from left, Will Covington, Heather Joyce-Byers, Matt Folker, Becca Van Aken, Herb Ziegler and Debra Ebersole, perform a wedding dance in Church Hill Theatre’s production of Fiddler on the Roof.
A wedding celebration commences with a traditional bottle dance by villagers, from left, Bryce Sullivan, Robert Branning, Jusden Messick, and Elliott Morotti, in Church Hill Theatre’s production of “Fiddler on the Roof.”
Tevye (Herb Ziegler) listens intently as the Fiddler (Cavin Moore) plays the haunting opening music for Church Hill Theatre’s production of “Fiddler on the Roof.”