‘Fid­dler’ opens run at CHT

Record Observer - - Front Page -

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.”

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