Human Race Theatre Company's FIDDLER ON THE ROOF to Begin 10/31
The Human Race Theatre Company continues its tradition of producing endearing musicals with the Joseph Stein/Jerry Bock/Sheldon Harnick classic, Fiddler on the Roof, the second production in its 27th season. Welcome to the village of Anatevka, where tradition is everything. But change is sweeping across the land and into poor dairyman Tevye's house. When his daughters want to break with the old ways and choose their own husbands, Tevye must decide which he loves more - his family's happiness or his long-held beliefs. Filled with timeless songs and wonderful dance numbers, this Broadway hit is a heartwarming tale for young and old.
"Fiddler on the Roof is a show I've wanted to do for the longest time," says Producing Artistic Director Kevin Moore, who is helming the production and still fondly recalls his days performing in a Kenley Players production with William Conrad (Cannon) as "Tevye" in the early 1980s. "What is inherent in that larger-than-life role-the emotional journey of changing your traditions for the love of your children-will be so potent and revealing in the closeness of The Loft, I can't wait for our audience to have that experience."
Typically performed with a cast that includes two dozen main actors plus numerous extras who serve as various villagers and Russians,Fiddler on the Roof was created as a large-scale production with a score written for over twenty musicians. "But at its core," says Moore, "Fiddler is a story about a family and the close circle of people that surround them. And that's what I want to focus on. It's easy to lose that aspect of the show when performing it on a much larger, proscenium stage with rows and rows of unnamed characters and a full orchestra filling the space." The plan is to use the 212-seat Loft Theatre's strength-its intimacy-to bring the tale of Tevye and his daughters into the spotlight. "We'll still use Jerome Robbins' original Broadway choreography, we'll incorporate every area of The Loft stage and house that we can. It's the same script, with all the same beloved songs (as well as the lesser-known ones). But we are going to strip away a lot of the extraneous overtones," he explains. "Gone are the anonymous villagers. Instead, we center on Tevye's family and the few characters who directly impact their world. And our orchestra is a 4-member klezmer band who appear onstage and interact with the rest of the cast."
Hamilton native Chris Crowthers joins the company for the first time as the show's choreographer, responsible for reworking Jerome Robbins' extensive original choreography to fit The Loft Theatre's thrust stage. Middletown, Ohio musician Jay Brunner (Avenue Q andNext to Normal) leads the onstage klezmer band and serves as the instrumental music director. Cincinnati musical writer Janet Yates Vogt (Tenderly: The Rosemary Clooney Musical and Anne of Green Gables) oversees the vocal direction. Scenic designer Dick Block (Avenue Qand Gem of the Ocean) returns to create a multi-use wooden set which represents a boundary that surrounds and protects the villagers of Anatevka, and is bordered by two sides of a large scroll decorated with the Hebrew words for "family" and "marriage". Tony Ray Hicks is the original costume designer. Resident Artist John Rensel is designing the lights and Nathan D. Dean is the sound designer. Kay Carver is serving as the production stage manager and Bethany Perhach is the assistant stage manager. Tara Lail is the show's associate producer.
The 24-member cast includes Drew Pulver as "Tevye", Rachel Coloff as "Golde", Christine Zavakos as "Tzeitel", Charity Farrell as "Hodel", Ashley Campana as "Chava" and "Fruma Sarah", Abby E. Cates as "Shprintze", Hannah Sayer and Jordan Vandersluis doubling as "Bielke", Drew Helton as "Motel", Josh Kenney as "Perchik", Adam Brown as "Fyedka", Saul Caplan as "Lazar Wolf", Caitlin Larsen as "Yente" and "Grandma Tzeitel", Eric Byrd as "Vanya", Ryan Heinrich as "Mordcha", Joshua Silver Hughes as "Yussel", Adam Lendermon as "Sasha", Matty Rickard as "Mendel", Jeff Sams as the "Constable", Linda June Snyder as "Shaindel", K.L. Storer as the "Rabbi", Jay Brunner as "Nachum the Beggar" (and playing guitar), Brent Eresman as "Seth" (and playing clarinet), Joel Greenberg as "Zev" (and playing mandolin) and George Abud as "The Fiddler".