Make us your home page

'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 [email protected]

. 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 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

  1. Review: Fast-paced 'Seven Brides' is pure entertainment at Show Palace


    Try not to blink if you go see Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, playing through Nov. 12 at the Show Palace Dinner Theatre in Hudson. If you close your eyes even for a second, you may miss something terrific in this fast-paced, lively and delightfully entertaining show.

    "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers" opens Oct. 14 at the Show Palace Dinner Theatre in Hudson. [The LightBox]
  2. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Oct. 17


    Insane Clown Posse: The hip-hop duo is known for their supernatural and horror themed lyrics. 6 p.m., State Theatre, 687 Central Avenue North, St. Petersburg. $25. (727) 895-3045.

    The Insane Clown Posse attends the 2003 Billboard Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena December 10, 2003 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The 14th annual ceremony airs live tonight on FOX 8:00-10:00 PM ET Live/PT. (Photo by Carlo Allegri/Getty Images)
  3. Restaurant review: Noble Crust's second location is a boon to booming Wesley Chapel

    Food & Dining


    Wesley Chapel is said to be one of the fastest growing areas in the country, due to the perfect cocktail of available and affordable land, broad but upwardly mobile demographics and easy access to other parts of Tampa Bay. And while malls and brick-and-mortar retail centers have taken a big hit in …

    The pizzas could use some refining at this location. Crusts struggled to stay crisp under toppings that were too heavy.
  4. This recipe for Meatless Meatballs and Spaghetti Squash is perfect for Meatless Monday


    This meal is so healthy, I am not even sure how it's so delicious. It's a perfect plate for Meatless Monday: filling yet fun, with "meatballs" made out of crushed nuts and strands of spaghetti squash. The whole thing freezes surprisingly well, too, just note that the squash will be a little watery upon defrost.

    Meatless Meatballs and Spaghetti Squash. Photos by Michelle Stark, Times Food Editor.
  5. Reviews: Beck's 'Colors,' St. Vincent's 'Masseduction' thrive in vibrant, alternative pop worlds

    Music & Concerts

    Flash back, if you will, to Aug. 25, 2015, and one of the more unusual stops on Taylor Swift's 1989 Tour. That night in Los Angeles, Swift brought out guests St. Vincent and Beck to perform the latter's single Dreams.

    St. Vincent attends the Special Escape Room Experience created by Spotify for St Vincent and their biggest fans to celebrate forthcoming album "Masseduction" on Oct. 4 in New York City.  (Photo by Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images for Spotify)