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Goodspeed Musicals Celebrates 50th Anniversary of FIDDLER ON THE ROOF; Show Opens Tonight!

Goodspeed Musicals will celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the beloved musical Fiddler on the Roof with an inspiring new production, which began previews on June 27th at the Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam, Conn. Fiddler on the Roof for an Official Press Opening tonight, July 16, 2014.

"L'Chaim - To Life!" The international smash about Russian villagers and their universal longings - love, wealth, freedom, God and home - makes its Goodspeed Musicals debut, boasting the beloved songs "If I Were a Rich Man," "Sunrise, Sunset," "Matchmaker" and more. Dance into the town of Anatevka, where "Tradition" is both embraced and challenged as local milkman Tevye sees his daughters fall in love in a time of extraordinary change.

Fiddler on the Roof features Music by Jerry Bock, Lyrics by Sheldon Harnick, Book by Joseph Stein which is based on Sholem Aleichem stories by special permission of Arnold Perl.

Leading the cast will be Adam Heller as Tevye. Mr. Heller returns to Goodspeed where he previously performed in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. His Broadway credits include Elf; Baby It's You; Caroline, or Change; A Class Act; Victor/Victoria and LES MISERABLES. Golde will be played by Lori Wilner, whose numerous Broadway credits include The Assembled Parties, On a Clear Day..., The People in the Picture, A Catered Affair, Awake and Sing!, Fiddler on the Roof, The Diary of Anne Frank and Those Were the Days. Cheryl Stern makes her Goodspeed debut as Yente / Grandma Tzeitel. On Broadway, she performed in the revival of La Cage aux Folles, Jackie Mason's Laughing Room Only and The Women.

David Perlman (Broadway's Baby It's You) will play Motel. Elizabeth DeRosa (Broadway's Mary Poppins) will play Hodel. Tzeitel will be played by Barrie Kreinik, Chava will be played by Jen Brissman, Fyedka will be played by Timothy Hassler, and Perchik will be played by Abdiel Vivancos. John Payonk (Goodspeed's The Most Happy Fella 2013) will play Lazar Wolf and Joy Del Valle (Goodspeed's Annie Get Your Gun) will play Shprintze. Allegra Rosa will play Bielke.

The ensemble includes Matthew Amira (Goodspeed's The Most Happy Fella), Will Burton (Hello, Dolly!), and Max Chucker, who will be the Fiddler. Joining the ensemble will be Michael J. Farina (Happy Days at The Norma Terris Theatre) as Mordcha. Mr. Farina's Broadway credits include In My Life,

Seussical, My Fair Lady, and Fiddler on the Roof. Joy Hermalyn of Broadway's Fiddler on the Roof, La Bohème, Candide, and Cyrano-The Musical will play Fruma Sarah. Jeremy Lawrence will play the Rabbi, and Darren Matthias (Goodspeed's Lizzie Borden at The Norma Terris Theatre) will play the Constable. Other ensemble members include Jeanette Minson, Curtis Schroeger and Dereck D. Seay. Charles South who participated in the 2012 Goodspeed Festival of New Artists will play Mendel. Jesse Swimm (Broadway's Mary Poppins and Goodspeed's High Button Shoes) will play Nacham and Eileen Tepper (Cutman a boxing musical at The Norma Terris Theatre) will play Shandel. The swings are Rob Montgomery and Paige Sommerer.

Fiddler on the Roof will be directed by Rob Ruggiero, who is well known to Goodspeed audiences for such hits as Carousel, Show Boat, Camelot, 1776 and last season's The Most Happy Fella. Parker Esse will again join forces with Ruggiero as Choreographer. They previously teamed up for Goodspeed's The Most Happy Fella and Carousel. Mr. Esse also served as Associate Choreographer for Broadway's Finian's Rainbow and A Tale of Two Cities.

Michael Schweikardt will be the Scenic Designer. His designs for Goodspeed Musicals include The Most Happy Fella, Carousel, Show Boat, Annie Get Your Gun, Camelot, Big River, and 1776. Costumes will be designed by Alejo Vietti, whose designs can now be seen on Broadway in the Tony-nominated Beautiful: The Carol King Musical. Other Broadway credits include Associate Costume Design for Jersey Boys, Good Vibrations, and Enchanted April among others. For Goodspeed, Vietti also designed Annie Get Your Gun, Camelot, Big River, 1776 and Meet John Doe at The Norma Terris Theatre. Lighting Design will be by John Lasiter who served as Lighting Designer for Goodspeed's The Most Happy Fella, Carousel, Annie Get Your Gun, Camelot, Big River, and 1776, and Broadway's High. Sound Design will be by Jay Hilton, who is in his 29th season at Goodspeed.

The Music Director for Fiddler of the Roof will be Michael O'Flaherty, who is in his 23rd season as Goodspeed's Resident Music Director. F. Wade Russo will be Assistant Music Director. Orchestrations will be provided by Dan DeLange, who has created the orchestrations for numerous Goodspeed productions.

Fiddler of the Roof is produced for Goodspeed Musicals by Michael P. Price.

Fiddler of the Roof will run through September 7, 2014. Curtain times are Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., Thursday at 7:30 p.m. (with select performances at 2:00 p.m.), Friday at 8:00 p.m., Saturday at 3:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m., and Sunday at 2:00 p.m. (with select performances at 6:30 p.m.).

Tickets are available through the Box Office (860.873.8668), open seven days a week, or on-line at For show highlights, exclusive photos, special events and more visit us at and follow us on Facebook, Twitter @goodspeedmusicl and YouTube.

Dedicated to the preservation and advancement of musical theatre, Goodspeed Musicals, the first regional theatre to receive two Tony Awards for outstanding achievement, produces three musicals each season at the Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam, Conn., and additional musicals at The Norma Terris Theatre in Chester, Conn. In 2014, Goodspeed celebrates 30 years of developing new musicals at The Norma Terris Theatre. In addition to the two theatres and production facilities, Goodspeed maintains The Scherer Library of Musical Theatre and The Max Showalter Center for Education in Musical Theatre. Goodspeed gratefully acknowledges the support of The Shops at Mohegan Sun; Hoffman Audi, the official auto sponsor of Goodspeed Musicals; and United Airlines, official airline sponsor. Goodspeed Musicals gratefully acknowledges the support of the Department of Economic and Community Development with support from the Connecticut Office of the Arts.

Photo Credit: Diane Sobolewski

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