Today: Jul 06 , 2020

Tradition! Timeless Fiddler on the Roof at PCA

27 September 2017  
Photo by MSP | Matt Santos

See Fiddler On The Roof At Prescott Center for the Arts

For the next two and a half weeks the Prescott Center for the Arts (PCA) stage will be full of the music, singing, dancing, life, love and tragedy that is Fiddler on the Roof. From side to side and top to bottom the cast and crew unfold the intricate production with skill and exuberance.

Photos by Lynne LaMaster

When Fiddler opened on Broadway in 1964 no one expected that it would become one of the longest running, most revived and widely seen musicals in history. Many Tony Awards and international acclaim followed. And this PCA rendition shows that its themes of family, community, love, and resilience are as timely today as they were then.

Photos by Lynne LaMaster

Revolving as it does around the story of Tevye the milkman, it is essential to have an exceptional voice and presence in that role. Darrell James Rowader fills this part with verve. His operatic training is evident in both his singing and his acting. He brings Tevye to life, illuminating his attempts to keep his Jewish faith and his traditional way of life, while struggling with his family and oncoming changes.

Photos by Lynne LaMaster

Many other cast members performed extremely well. Notable were: Judah Neese as Tevye’s oldest daughter Tzeitel, Michelle Grubert as Golde, Tevye’s wife and Joanne Cole as Grandma Tseitel—you’ll see. And of course, Judy Clothier as Yente, the matchmaker.

Photos by Lynne LaMaster

It is impossible to mention all the good performances, except to say that every actor obviously took his/her part very seriously, and it clearly showed in the overall quality of the production. This performance is an excellent showcase of local young talent. Of course in Fiddler, the dancing is part of the fun. Especially good were the “Russian dancers” and the “bottle dancers.” Wow.

Photos by Lynne LaMaster

Of course a lot of the credit must go to the director, Frank Malle. Mr. Malle has definitely made his mark in local theatre since his arrival in Prescott in 2013. His ability to oversee such a large cast and crew on such a small stage really made this production possible. To bring out the best in each performer over the long hours of necessary work takes an unusual talent.

Photos by Lynne LaMaster

Great praise must go to the production staff. The music director Sandy Vernon brought the score to life in an amazing way. The choreographers Pam Cannedy, Stepan Oleksyn, and Mary Brown (assistant) worked wonders with the many dances. The stage filled with life without seeming crowded. The sets, designed by Nicole Patterson and Judy Clothier, were a marvel of suggestion, simple for easy movement and to leave most of the stage clear for dance numbers but sturdy enough for the Fiddler to be on the roof.

Photos by Lynne LaMaster

If You Go:

What: Fiddler on the Roof
Where: PCA, 208 N. Marina Street, Prescott
Phone: Box Office: 928.445.3288
When: Sept. 28-Oct 15
Regular Performances: September 28, 29,30 October 5, 6, 7, 12, 13, 14 At 7:30 PM Tickets $25
Matinee: Oct 1, 8 15 At 2:00 PM Tickets $21
Cost: $21 for matinees, $25 for regular performances 

Photos by Lynne LaMaster

Sholem Aleichem

Among the good things about Fiddler on the Roof is that it brings to a wide audience the stories of the great Yiddish writer Sholem Aleichem. Born Solomon Rabinovich in 1859 in an area of Russia now in the Ukraine, he experienced both the traditional life of the shtetl (a small town with a mostly Jewish population) and the frequently violent changes which uprooted them. He began writing at a young age, writing in both Hebrew and Russian.

He moved first to Kiev but after witnessing the pogroms which swept across southern Russia in 1905, he went first to New York and then to Geneva Switzerland.

In 1883 he published his first stories in Yiddish, adopting the name Sholem Aleichem. By 1890 he was a leading writer in the Yiddish language, writing many short stories and plays.

Sholem Aleichem’s work is known for it’s humor and wit. He lived in poverty much of his life and died in 1916 of T.B. In his will he left instructions that at his funeral one of his stories should be read, “One of the merry ones, let my name be recalled with laughter or not at all.”

Photo gallery by MSP | Matt Santos