Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Riverview girl will lend voice to 'Fiddler' fete in New York

RIVERVIEW

Caroline Howard has been onstage locally for most of her young life.

She has moved audiences with her versatile dancing, mature acting and powerful voice. Now the 10-year-old is taking her talents to the Big Apple.

Caroline will take part in a benefit concert Monday in New York City celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Broadway musical Fiddler on the Roof.

The event, produced by the National Yiddish Theatre — Folksbiene, will bring together the largest-ever reunion of Fiddler alumni from stage and film. Caroline will be part of a children's chorus and share the stage with legends like lyricist Sheldon Harnick and actors Chaim Topol and Pia Zadora.

The benefit concert at the Town Hall, in the heart of the Manhattan theater district, will be Caroline's most prestigious gig. She will take the stage for three group songs, including Sunrise, Sunset.

"I think it will feel really cool to get in front of everyone and perform and do what I love to do," she said.

Philip Carrubba, a spokesman for the show, called "Raising the Roof 2014," said Caroline is part of a big event that will also celebrate the National Yiddish Theatre's 100th season and Harnick's 90th birthday.

"It's going to be a great opportunity for her," he said. "It's going to be a once-in-a-lifetime event."

Caroline has traveled to New York to audition for roles. She did not win the roles but got close. So it means a lot to her to get a part in this benefit concert. She was recommended for the job this time and didn't have to audition.

"It's awesome," she said, grinning.

Linda Switzer thinks it's about time Caroline hit the big stage. She has worked as her voice teacher for four years and has watched her snag roles in St. Petersburg, Bradenton, Sarasota and Naples.

Switzer remembers their first meeting. She said the youngster had a "lovely voice" and a winning personality.

"She's very intelligent," Switzer said. "She also has talent. What I love about Caroline is that she prepares like an adult."

Switzer has worked with many students in the Tampa area over the years. Some have made it big, such as Brittany Snow, who had roles in the movies Hairspray and Pitch Perfect, and Milly and Abigail Shapiro, who have appeared on Broadway.

Switzer, who runs the Florida Arts School in Tampa, said Caroline has the skills to succeed, too.

Caroline got her start in the arts the way many kids do: Her parents thought it would be cute to see her in a tutu.

Her father, Mike, who works in financial services, and mother, Whitney, who's a physical therapist, enrolled their 3-year-old in a dance class at the Theatre Arts & Dance Alliance in Lithia.

Around that time, Caroline also began watching her parents' VHS tapes of musicals like Annie. She watched them over and over and over. When Annie came to Ruth Eckerd Hall, the Howard family was in the audience.

"She was mesmerized and loved every second of it," Whitney Howard said. "She said, 'Mom, I want to do that.' "

A friend got them information on local community theater groups. In no time, Caroline started winning bigger and better roles.

Others outside Florida noticed the youngster's talent, too.

At age 6, she made it into the top 25 during an audition in New York for the national tour of Annie. She has also tried out for roles in Matilda and Billy Elliott.

In addition to a voice teacher, Caroline has a manager and an agent. These days, she also earns a paycheck for some of her work on the stage. Her parents have set that money aside for her future.

Caroline would love a career on the stage, preferably in New York City.

"I absolutely love it," said the Valrico Academy student. "I love all the lights and stuff in Times Square. It's not ordinary. It's a lot different. It's very busy, and I like that."

Monica Bennett cam be reached at hillsnews@tampabay.com.

Riverview girl will lend voice to 'Fiddler' fete in New York 06/04/14 [Last modified: Wednesday, June 4, 2014 4:00pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Longest-serving James Bond star Roger Moore dead at 89

    Obituaries

    LONDON — Roger Moore, the longest-serving movie star to play iconic British spy James Bond in the famed film series, has died in Switzerland after a brief bout with cancer. He was 89.

    This 2011 photo of British actor Sir Roger Moore as he arrives at the Monaco palace for the religious wedding ceremony of Prince Albert II of Monaco and Charlene Princess of Monaco. Roger Moore's family said Tuesday that the  former James Bond star has died after a short battle with cancer. [Associated Press]
  2. Car fire stalls traffic on Memorial Highway, Courtney Campbell Causeway

    Fire

    A car fire on Memorial Highway in Tampa near the airport was clogging traffic Tuesday morning, with delays reaching the Courtney Campbell Causeway.

  3. Will Brad Culpepper win it all on Wednesday's 'Survivor' finale?

    The Feed

    Heading into Wednesday's finale of Survivor: Game Changers, former Tampa Bay Buccaneer Brad Culpepper said his fans need to know there are still plays to make before the end zone.

    "The Tables Have Turned" - Brad Culpepper, Tai Trang and Hali Ford on the fourth episode of SURVIVOR: Game Changers on the CBS Television Network. Photo: Jeffrey Neira/CBS Entertainment
  4. Forecast: Dry, muggy conditions for Tampa Bay before severe storms, possible tornadoes arrive ahead of cold front

    Weather

    Tampa Bay residents can expected a muggy, dry day Tuesday ahead of a cold front and a string of severe storms slated to arrive late Wednesday.

    Tampa Bay's 7 day forecast. [WTSP]
  5. Islamic State group claims responsibility for Manchester blast after Ariana Grande concert

    Public Safety

    MANCHESTER, England — The Islamic State group says one of its members planted bombs in the middle of crowds in Manchester, England, where 22 people died in an explosion at an Ariana Grande concert in the city.

    Emergency services work at Manchester Arena after reports of an explosion at the venue during an Ariana Grande gig in Manchester, England Monday, May 22, 2017. Several people have died following reports of an explosion Monday night at an Ariana Grande concert in northern England, police said. A representative said the singer was not injured.  [Peter Byrne | PA via AP]