Fiddler on the Roof Brings Families Together on and off Stage

Posted By: jgoggins on Feb 21, 2013 in Gallery Players
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Tevye, Golde, and the whole family return to the stage this year in Gallery Players’ March musical production of Fiddler on the Roof. Bring your family and bring back all your memories as the JCC brings Anatevka to life in the Roth/Resler Theater. The 2013 production, running March 2-17, will be the sixth Fiddler on the Roof performance that Gallery Players has staged in its 65-year history. “We thought, let’s use a show about tradition to celebrate the JCC’s tradition,” said Jared Saltman, Gallery Players Managing and Artistic Director.

Fiddler on the Roof, based on the stories of Yiddish storyteller Sholom Aleichem, continues to enjoy popularity among audiences across the country and around the world though it has been more than 40 years since its original 1964 Broadway debut. Set in 1905 at the beginning of the Russian Revolution, Fiddler on the Roof depicts Tevye the Dairyman, his wife, Golde, and their daughters, and Yente the Matchmaker negotiating a world in flux as beliefs are challenged by radical politics and the world of gentiles.

Fiddler on the Roof is a slippery customer. It delivers to its audiences a classic ‘bait and switch’—it begins by showing us that traditions are the most important elements in a society…. Then, just when we have understood that concept, it shows us that there is something that transcends even the most time-honored traditions—love. Fiddler on the Roof teems with life, bursts with humor, thrills with music that arises naturally from the moment, and it inspires with its depiction of a people who remain indomitable in the face of hostility and prejudice,” said Director Mark Mann, who hopes to bring to life the Old Country in a new way that intrigues both new audiences and long-time fans.

The JCC tradition of staging Fiddler on the Roof began in 1972 when it was first performed by Gallery Players with Harold Eisenstein at the helm. For 40 years, until his retirement in 1998, Eisenstein directed, produced, and became the guiding hand for Gallery Players. He again directed the January 1983 production celebrating the JCC’s Grand Reopening in a newly constructed building; this was the first performance in the new building’s auditorium. Fiddler was also performed by Gallery Players in June of 1993. In honor of Gallery Players’ 50th anniversary, the production was revived again in October 1998.

The tradition continued when it was last performed in February 2006 with Cantor Jack Chomsky of Congregation Tifereth Israel starring in a sold-out run as Tevye. The theme of tradition couldn’t be more relevant than for Chomsky who will return to the Roth/Resler Theater to fill the lead role of Tevye again.

“I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to repeat the role in this 100th anniversary celebration. I look forward to gathering people from our own Jewish community to portray this imaginary village and to come together to create an Anatevka for the Ages. I hope it will also be an opportunity to appreciate the many years of artistry of many hands building and maintaining Gallery Players,” said Chomsky.

Chomsky will be joined onstage by his wife, Susan Gellman, who will star as Tevye’s wife, Golde. “I am thrilled to perform alongside my wife, Susan.  We’ve been married five years longer than Golde and Tevye!  We are both excited to be a part of this special production,” said Chomsky.

Irene Braverman, veteran stage actor, is another long-lived Gallery Players tradition. She will be portraying Yente for the third time in this year’s production. Braverman first starred in the role in 1983 on the new stage— the first “real” stage, she said— designed especially for Gallery Players.

For the past 60 years, Braverman has played role after role, from comedy to drama and everything in between. Her favorite role, however, is as Yente. “I understand Yente. I know who she is. I’m thrilled to have the chance to play Yente again,” said Braverman.

Get your tickets now to one of the eight performances between March 2 and 17, 2013. Showtimes for Fiddler on the Roof are Saturdays at 8 p.m. on March 2 and March 9, and Saturday, March 16, at 8:30 p.m.; Sundays at 2:30 p.m. March 3, 10, and 17; and Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. on March 7 and 14. And reservations are filling fast for the Eastern European-themed dinner on Sunday, March 10, following the matinee performance. A Taste of Anatevka, at 5:30 p.m., will feature Old World favorites such as babka, cabbage rolls, and pierogis!

A special JCC 100 price is being offered to Columbus synagogues, which qualify for specially discounted member pricing on tickets to the musical. Tickets are $20 for JCC members, $25 for nonmembers. $15 for senior members, $20 for senior nonmembers, $10 for children or students, and $15 per ticket for groups of 20 or more.

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Fiddler Cast List:

Name   Character
Adelaide Feibel …………………. Shpintze
Amelia Starcher …………………. Bielke
Amy Silver Judd …………………. Fruma Sarah
David C. Spialter …………………. Nachum
David Collard …………………. Mordcha
Elisha Beachy …………………. Perchik
Eliya Smith …………………. Tzeitel
Fred Luper …………………. Rabbi
Georgia Fried …………………. Chorus
Halley Dunn …………………. Chorus
Hannah Rossio …………………. Hodel
Irene Braverman …………………. Yente
Jack Chomsky …………………. Tevye
Jay Folickman …………………. Yussel
Joan Fishel …………………. Rifka
Kate Willis …………………. Shaindel
Laurie Alexander …………………. Grandma Tzeitel
Tim Browning …………………. Mendel
Matthew Harper …………………. Motel
Nate Eisenberg …………………. Chorus
Neil Kalef …………………. Chorus
Paula Shtein …………………. Chava
Rick A. Holt …………………. Avram
Rosie Kalef …………………. Chorus
Scott A Willis …………………. Lazar Wolf
Stella Fried …………………. Chorus
Susan E. Parker …………………. Chorus
Susan Gellman …………………. Golde
Todd Covert …………………. Constable
Thomas Welsh-Huggins …………………. Bottle Dancer
Stephen Hanna …………………. The Fiddler/Sasha

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