Make us your home page
Instagram

'Fiddler on the Roof' takes the stage

Fiddler on the Roof has long been thought of as one of Broadway's best — a show that appeals to many a generation, touching on the universal themes of tradition, teenage rebellion, romance, marriage and religious persecution.

Opening on Broadway in September 1964, Fiddler delivered well-known tunes such as Matchmaker, Matchmaker, If I Were a Rich Man and wedding favorite Sunrise, Sunset. The Broadway musical that featured Zero Mostel in the title role of Tevye earned 10 Tony Awards and set records for the longest-running show, for more than 3,200 consecutive performances.

With 72 cast members preparing to take the stage this weekend, a local production of Fiddler might just be an example of community theater at its best — or at least its most authentic — with the opening of the Gilbert and Sullivan Players' presentation on Friday at the Tarpon Springs Performing Arts Center.

"People came out of the woodwork to audition," said Jamie Bierchen who directs the show along with musical director Constantine Grame and choreographer Jane Russell Geddings.

The Players' summer productions are typically a big attraction for stage seekers who might otherwise not have the time to devote to the many rehearsals that go into a musical, Bierchen said. He should know, having directed productions of The King and I, The Music Man, Oliver! and last year's award-winning Carousel. "We have a lot of kids that are now out of school — people who work for the school system."

Bierchen found a spot on stage for most all of them as well as a place on the roof for "Fiddler" Eric Nordstrom, a violinist who plays regularly with the Florida Orchestra and has toured with performers such as Rod Stewart and Josh Groban.

Colman Reaboi, cantor and spiritual leader of Congregation B'nai Emmunah in Tarpon Springs, plays the starring role of Tevye, a pondering milkman and father of five daughters, three of whom are coming of age just as his world is beginning to crumble around him with the growth of anti-Semitism in czarist Russia at the turn of the 20th century.

The milkman's struggles play out in the fictional, tight-knit village of Anatevka where he lives with his daughters and his loyal, yet independent-minded wife, Golde (Tara Hilderbrandt).

Tevye's three oldest daughters — Tzeitel (Marissa Jo Kraus), Hodel (Brianna Lynn Filippelli) and Chava (Lauren Leech) — are a rebellious lot who make him question his long-held values. They choose true love over the matchmaking tradition that brought their parents together for the first time on their wedding day.

The show, full of humorous, tender and some somber moments, and some somber, and is the perfect way to wrap up the city's annual Summer Solstice arts program, said Gen Crosby, marketing and communications coordinator for Tarpon Springs Cultural Treasures.

"Everyone loves Fiddler. The music is so fun to sing," she said. "This is a really big show. We have a lot of people in it, a lot of families, a lot of kids dragging their parents on the stage."

Michele Miller can be reached at miller@tampabay.com.

. If you go

Fiddler on the Roof

The musical opens Friday and runs weekends through July 28 at the Tarpon Springs Performing Arts Center, 324 Pine St., Tarpon Springs. Show times are 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $24, $20. Advance reserved seating tickets are available online anytime at tarponarts.org or by calling the box office between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. weekdays, and one hour before shows. For information, call (727) 942-5605.

'Fiddler on the Roof' takes the stage 07/16/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, July 16, 2013 12:37pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Bar review: Les Partners Lounge goes old-school in Clearwater

    Bars & Spirits

    There are some local places that I'm shocked aren't more well known, and I think that's the result of a general aversion to stepping out of one's comfort zone. I make regular concerted efforts to step outside of mine, which often leads me to strange and rewarding drinking establishments.

    Les Partners Lounge is an old-school, smoker-friendly cocktail lounge and live music venue tucked away in a nondescript shopping plaza in Island Estates.
  2. Local craft beer of the week: Plongeur a L'eponge, Saint Somewhere Brewing Co.

    Bars & Spirits

    Tarpon Springs' Saint Somewhere Brewing Co. has a somewhat idiosyncratic approach to wild ale brewing, utilizing an open brewing approach involving uncovered fermenters in order to brew beer with local ambient microbes, reminiscent in some ways to the fermentation techniques used by rustic farmhouse breweries in Belgium …

     Plongeur a?€š€™L?ˆš??ponge, Saint Somewhere Brewing Company, 6/23/17  Electric Chair Sour Shandy, Angry Chair Brewing, 6/30/17   Pulp Friction Grapefruit IPA, Motorworks Brewing 7/7/17
  3. ‘80s acts dominate lineup of 2017 Epcot Food and Wine Festival

    Blogs

    Oh, yes. Christmas is coming early this year to ‘80s fans in Florida. Disney’s Epcot Center has announced the lineup to its “Eat to the Beat” concert series that coincides with their annual International Food & Wine Festival.

  4. Equality Florida leader honored at Tampa U2 concert

    Briefs

    TAMPA — Equality Florida director Nadine Smith couldn't attend last week's U2 concert in Tampa, but she can tell you which of her friends had great seats for the June 14 show at Raymond James Stadium.

    Nadine Smith, Equality Florida founder and CEO, received a unique distinction last week when U2 included her in a montage of photos saluting activism and women leaders.
  5. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for June 23

    Events

    Leslie Odom Jr.: A solo concert by the Broadway star who won a Tony for his performance as Aaron Burr in Hamilton. 7 p.m., Ferguson Hall at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. $35.50-$55.50. (813) 229-7827.

    Leslie Odom Jr. accepts the award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical in "Hamilton"  during the 70th Annual Tony Awards  on June 12, 2016.  (Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)