Rubicon Theatre Presents FIDDLER ON THE ROOF 3/21-4/26

Rubicon Theatre Company continues its "Brave New World" Season with FIDDLER ON THE ROOF. The musical begins previews Thursday, March 19, open on Saturday, March 21 at 7pm and run through Sunday, April 26, 2009 at Rubicon Theatre, 1006 E. Main Street in Ventura.

FIDDLER ON THE ROOF is the Tony Award® winning musical that captured the hearts of people all over the world with its universal appeal. The play tells the story of Tevye, a Jewish milkman coping with day-to-day "shtetl" life, Jewish traditions and the women in his life in pre-Revolutionary Russia.

Rubicon is the only regional theatre with permission to stage FIDDLER ON THE ROOF until the year 2011, and is presented through special arrangement with Music Theate International (MTI). This large-scale musical is the biggest production ever on Rubicon's stage. Director James O'Neil directs FIDDLER as a play with music, bringing forward the timeless nature of the story and its resonance for today's world. Songs include "Sunrise, Sunset," "Matchmaker" and "If I Were a Rich Man."

The cast features actors from the stages of Canada and New York and includes George Ball, Eileen Barnett, Robert Barry, Tom Beyer, Heidi Bjorndahl, Chad Borden, Jay Brazeau, Joseph Fuqua, Helen Geller, Jessica Gordon, Rob Hancock, Leslie Henstock, Amy Hillner, Josh Jenkins, Jeff Johnston, Larry Lederman, Chad Michael, Lauren Patten, Steve Perren, Betsy Randle, Oskar Rodriguez, and Jamie Thompson.

The show is presented in association with the Ventura Music Festival, and also features Artistic Director Nuvi Mehta as The Fiddler.

JIM O'NEIL (Director) co-founded Rubicon Theatre Company in 1998 with his wife Karyl Lynn Burns. Jim's Rubicon directing credits include the World Premiere of The Spin Cycle by David Rambo, Will Rogers America, A Delicate Balance, The Diary of Anne Frank, Man of La Mancha, The Night of the Iguana, A Streetcar Named Desire (Indie Award), Driving Miss Daisy (NAACP Award), All My Sons (2004 Ovation Award for Best Production of a Play), Sylvia, The Glass Menagerie, Jesus Christ Superstar, Love Letters and Romeo and Juliet. Regional directing credits include The Lion in Winter, The Petrified Forest, Inherit the Wind and area premieres of John Ford Noonan's A Coupla White Chicks Sitting Around Talking and Rupert Holmes' Drood! Prior to starting Rubicon, Jim worked for more than 25 years as a producer, director and actor. He received his BFA from California Institute of the Arts. While on staff at Landmark Entertainment Group, Jim directed a multi-million dollar animatronics/special effects show in Japan, supervising all aspects of production and creative direction for themed attractions in Sanrio's Harmonyland. As Associate Producer/Artistic Associate for Santa Barbara Repertory Theatre, Jim helmed a new works program. As an actor, he received rave reviews in the role of Pontius Pilate in the National Tour of Jesus Christ Superstar starring Ted Neeley, Carl Anderson and Irene Cara. Other roles include Dr. Prospero in the American regional premiere of Return to the Forbidden Planet at the American Heartland Theatre in Kansas City, John Adams in 1776, John in Oleanna, John in Lips Together, Teeth Apart, The Duke/Dr. Carrasco in Man of La Mancha, and Adam in the first reading of Dale Wasserman's Western Star. For Rubicon he has appeared in Love Letters, The Rainmaker, The Devil's Disciple, Dancing at Lughnasa, The Turn of the Screw and most recently as Claudius in Hamlet (Indie Award). This season at Rubicon Jim, directs Fiddler on the Roof. He is the recipient of an "Outstanding Contribution to the Theatre" REP Award and a "Friend of Education" Award from the California State Board of Education (for Rubicon's outreach programs).

LLOYD COOPER (Musical Director) has won three Drama-Logue Awards for best musical direction and received awards for Plan-B Entertainment's production of Beauty and the Beast. He was recently the musical director for Happy Days - A Family Musical! written by Garry Marshall and Paul Williams. Lloyd has worked as composer, arranger and/or conductor in such television shows as Father Dowling, Matlock and Perry Mason and the films The Prince of Tides, Godzilla and The Holiday. He worked with Barbra Streisand and Stephen Sondheim in rehearsing and choosing music for her Back To Broadway album. Lloyd and his wife, Barbara Matteson Cooper, have a successful night club career and have recorded four albums of original music which have reached audiences all over the world.
Lee Martino (Choreographer) choreographed Rubicon's Lies and Legends and Side By Side By Sondheim. She is the resident choreographer for The Reprise Theatre Company under the Artistic Direction of Jason Alexander. Choreography for Reprise Theatre Company includes Li'l Abner starring Cathy Rigby, On Your Toes, Damn Yankees, On The Town, Brigadoon, I Love My Wife and several of the summer events at The John Anson Ford Amphitheatre. Most recent credits include: directing this year's Alzheimer's Benefit, directing and staging American Stars In Concert starring Kimberly Locke and Diana DeGarmo, choreography for the soon to be released animated feature Alpha Omega, the World Premiere of Silk Stockings at Musical Theatre West, directing and choreographing What a Pair, a benefit for the John Wayne Cancer Institute starring some of the biggest female stars of TV, film and theatre, and the Bravo series Step It Up and Dance. Other credits include: Beehive at the El Portal Theatre; the Full Monty and All Shook Up for Musical Theatre West; I Do I Do and Side By Side By Sondheim for The Pasadena Playhouse; Lies and Legend for the Rubicon Theatre, direction and choreography for several large-scale shows for Harley-Davidson throughout the country; Warner Bros. animated feature The King and I; Universal Studios' New York Rascal Show; Disney's Santa Clause 3 Stage Show at the El Capitan Theatre; Disney International's Latin American Stage Tour A Dream Is A Wish; the Opening Gala for Theatre Under the Stars, TUTS,' Hobby Performing Arts Center honoring Jerry Herman; the Opening of Ford Field, the Detroit Lions football stadium, starring Gladys Knight; the opening of the Spa Resort Casino in Palm Springs starring Ruben Stoddard. Lee's work has been seen in many S.T.A.G.E. (Los Angeles' longest running AIDS benefit), Actor's Fund, and Alzheimer's benefits as well as the CHOC Follies, an annual event for Children's Hospital of Orange County. Lee's choreography has won her two Los Angeles Drama Critic's Awards, two Ovation Awards, Garland awards, and many nominations for these awards. Her On Your Toes for Reprise won her the 2007 Ovation, LADCC and Garland awards. Upcoming projects include The Fantastiks for Reprise.

FIDDLER ON THE ROOF features Scenic Design by Thomas Giamario (2008 Ovation Award for Set Design, Larger Theatre), Lighting Design by Ward Carlisle, Costume Design by Shon Le Blanc, Sound Design by Jonathan Burke, Prop Design by T. Theresa Scarano, Hair and Make-up Design by Spanky Reynoso with Production Stage Management by Linda M. Tross.


Jay Brazeau (Tevye): Some highlights of Brazeau's career include: singing and dancing in a dress and fat suit on stage playing Edna Turnblad in the musical Hairspray for Mirvish Productions in Toronto; and singing and dancing in the production of The Producer's and as The Man in the Chair for The Drowsy Chaperone. Brazeau was recently awarded a Jessie Award for his work in Edward Albee's The Goat. He will soon be seen on the big screen in the feature film, "The Watchmen," based on the graphic novel of the same name. Other credits include work on the features; Ratko, Far Cry, Blonde and Blonder and Christmas Cottage. Recent Movie of the Week work includes "The Competition," "Murder on Spec," "Just a Girl" and "Presumed Dead" as well as the mini-series "Masters of Horror." He appeared in A Guy Thing, starring Jason Lee and Julia Stiles and also appeared in Steven Spielberg's mini-series Taken and the feature film Insomnia starring Al Pacino and Robin Williams.

Brazeau was in three seasons with the CTV hit series "Cold Squad" as the coroner. He was nominated for a Gemini Award for his work on the series "Stargate SG-1." He has also received six Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards, plus a Pittsburgh Press Critic's Award for Best Actor of the Year in 1988. Work on stage includes Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman , the hit musical Urinetown and the 1,000 year-old man in 999, A Saga. He has impressive feature film credits including Head Over Heels as the lead bad guy opposite FrEddie Prinze Jr. and Monica Potter and Double Jeopardy in which he worked opposite Ashley Judd and Tommy Lee Jones. He played a studio head in Murder at the Cannes Film Festival. Other leading roles include the critically acclaimed feature Kissed which was chosen for the Directors' Fortnight at Cannes, The Prisoner of Zelda, the pilot for Dead Man's Gun, as well as co-starring roles in the features Kitchen Party, We're No Angels with Robert DeNiro and Sean Penn, Snow Falling on Cedars with Ethan Hawke and Scott Hicks (Director of Shine), Middlemen plus the award winning Movie of the Week The Diary of Evelyn Lau, the feature Slam Dunk Ernest as well as roles in the features Gold Diggers, Little Women and Andre.

Numerous television credits include guest starring roles on The West Wing, Reaper, Blood Ties, Psych, Supernatural, Falcon Beach, Whistler, Stargate Atlantis, Dead Man's Gun, Young Person's Guide To Be A Rockstar, Mysterious Ways, DaVinci's Inquest, U.C. Undercover, Outer Limits, So Weird, 7 Days, Millenium, Outer Limits, Poltergeist, The Sentinel, The Adventures of Shirley Holmes, North of Sixty, Jake and the Kid, My Life as a Dog, The Marshall, The X-Files, The Odyssey and Lonesome Dove. Jay also voices animated projects such as The Playroom, The Big Snit and numerous radio dramas and commercials.

He just wrapped a guest starring role in the series Eureka and was recurring in the series Harper's Island.

Eileen Barnett (Golde) was last seen on the Rubicon stage in Jacques Brel is Alive and Well. Her recent television credits include guest starring roles on "ER," "Brothers and Sisters" and "The Ex-List." Some other guest starring roles include "Gilmore Girls," "Strong Medicine," " Fraiser" and "Still Standing." Eileen also played the very wicked Stephanie Woodruff on "Days Of Our Lives" and did a stint on "Knots Landing" opposite Michael York.

In addition to Golde, Eileen's repertoire includes many long-suffering wives and mothers. On Broadway she starred in Tommy Tune's Tony Award ®winning musical Nine as Luisa Contini; in the National tour of Footloose, she was Vi Moore; and most recently she was the mother of a son who was in a South American prison, in the acclaimed Havok Theatre Company's production of Kiss Of The Spider Woman.

Some Los Angeles appearances also include Putting It Together (LA Premiere) at the Colony Theatre, Radio Gals and LOVE AND SHRIMP at the Pasadena Playhouse, Billy Barnes' Movie Star, The Most Happy Fella at Reprise!, Wild Party at The Blank Theatre and The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas for which she won a Dramalogue Award. Some regional theatre credits include roles in Man Of La Mancha, Showboat and No, No, Nanette.

As a member of The Musical Theatre Guild, Eileen has appeared in Stephen Sondheim's Passion (LA Premiere), Lady In The Dark, Street Scene and A Man Of No Importance as well as producing several of their concerts.

Amy Hillner (Tzeitel) was last seen in Footloose in New York where she played the role of Rusty. She also understudied and performed the role of Tracy Turnblad on the National Tour of Hairspray. Other credits include Shelley in Hairspray, Little Red in Into the Woods, Nikki in Sweet Charity, Judy in A Chorus Line, and Hot Box Girl/Dance Captain in Guys & Dolls. She has danced throughout the US, Canada, & Europe and has performed in workshops with Richard Adler and Ann Reinking. Amy has a BA in Theatre Performance from Wagner College as well as several choreography credits.


Chad Borden (Motel) recently received an L.A. Drama Critics' Circle nomination for his performance as Molina in Kiss of the Spider Woman (Havok Theatre Company). Chad's other favorite credits include Andy Paris (et. al) in The Laramie Project (Ovation & Garland Awards, Laguna Playhouse & Colony Theatre), Bobby in A Chorus Line (McCoy-Rigby & AMT of San Jose), Tin Man in The Wizard of Oz (South Bay CLO & Sacramento Music Circus), Will Parker in Oklahoma! (Cabrillo Music Theatre), Simon in Only A Kingdom (Pasadena Playhouse), Frank in Showboat (Musical Theatre West), Frank in Mack & Mabel opposite Jane Krakowski (Reprise), Larry in Burn This (Elephant Theatre), and Bud Frump in How to Succeed in Business (Ovation nom., Colony Theatre). His National Tour credits include Mordred in Camelot and The Duke Ellington Songbook as a featured soloist with Marilyn McCoo. His TV credits include "General Hospital", "Bold and the Beautiful", and "Girls Behaving Badly". Last year, Chad started the Havok Theatre Company with Artistic Director Nick DeGruccio. Their first three productions received critical acclaim, including an Ovation nomination for Best Musical (L.A. Premiere of Thrill Me: The Leopold & Loeb Story), and nominations for the GLAAD Media Award and LADCC Best Production (L.A. Premiere of Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead).

Leslie Henstock (Hodel) was recently Amalia in Rubicon's She Loves Me and this past summer's workshop of Daddy Long Legs (as Jerusha Abbott with Rob Hancock as Jervis). In 2007, she made her Off Broadway debut in Frankenstein and also appears on the Original Cast Recording. Prior to that she completed the tour of The Light in the Piazza as Clara, receiving wonderful reviews for her performances. And for almost five years, she toured with Les Miserables (Cosette). She is currently forming a cabaret repertory company called Anthologies Untold that will be performing in NYC sometime soon. Other credits include Manhattan Theatre Club and Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera. She is a University of Michigan Musical Theatre graduate.

JOSH JENKINS (Fyedka) absolutely thrilled to be performing in his first full production at the Rubicon. He was most recently seen in the reading of Cheri Steinkellner's Hello! My Baby, playing the part of Junior Tierney. Other recent shows he has done include The World Goes Round, Omnium Gatherum, and All In The Timing. He is currently a theatre student at Santa Barbara City College, and is very involved with the theatre group there. He hopes to transfer to a four year university in the near future to continue his theatre training and education. This is Josh's first professional show, and he can think of no better place than the Rubicon to make his debut

LAUREN PATTON (Chava) is thrilled to be back at the Rubicon after appearing last year as Elma in "Bus Stop," (Ovation Award Nomination for Featured Actress) and as Anne in "Diary of Anne Frank" in 2007. In the past year, Lauren originated the role of Sadie in "Ten Cent Night," a world premiere play at Chicago Dramatists, and appeared in the short film "Geography Bee." Past credits include "A Christmas Carol" at the Goodman Theatre, and "Training Wisteria" at the Summer Play Festival of New York City. An independent-study high school junior, Lauren's most recent project was taking the SATs.

George Ball (Lazar Wolf) has appeared on and off Broadway in Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris. He also had the pleasure of starring in the San Francisco, Los Angeles, Boston and Dutch productions of Jaques Brel. George starred in the pre-Broadway production of the new musical Cowboy in New York. He played the irascible sheriff Ed Earle Dodd in the Pittsburgh and San Jose CLO productions of Best Little Whorehouse in Texas and the leading role of Ben Rumson in the Goodspeed Opera House revival of Paint Your Wagon. His other stage credits include leads in Brecht, Sacred and Profane at the Mark Taper Forum, Vincent at the Las Palmas Theatre and Merry-Go-Round at the El Rey Theatre, all in L.A. He originated the role of the husband Steve in the musical Heartbeats at The Old Globe Theatre in San Diego, and starred in subsequent productions at The Pasadena Playhouse, Sacramento Music Circus and the Morris Mechanic Theatre in Baltimore. He originated the role of Man One in Lies and Legends: The Musical Stories of Harry Chapin at the Apollo Theatre in Chicago, and won both the Drama-Logue and L.A. Drama Critics' Circle Award for his recreation of that role at The Pasadena Playhouse and the Canon Theatre in L.A. His stock credits include leading roles in Camelot, Man of La Mancha, Oliver, Best Little Whorehouse in Texas and I Do! I Do! .Television appearances include "Cheers," "General Hospital," "The Young and the Restless," and most recently as Peter Lund, the singing President of CBS on "Late Night with David Letterman." Additional credits include Damn Yankees at Sacramento Music Circus and Tony in Most Happy Fella for Reprise! at UCLA's Freud Theatre. He co-starred with his wife Amanda McBroom in Gold Coast Plays' production of Sondheim's A Little Night Music; played the role of John Hancock in 1776 for Santa Barbara Civic Light Opera, and starred in the title role of Sweeney Todd for Gold Coast Plays, which was named one of the ten best theatrical events of the year 2000 by the Los Angeles Times and for which he received a Robby Award for Best Actor in a Musical. George returns to Rubicon for a third time, having previously directed the award-winning anniversary production of Lies and Legends: The Musical Stories of Harry Chapin, and having starred in the award-winning production of Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris.

HELLEN GELLER (Yente) makes her Rubicon Theater debut in a role that is near and dear to her heart. When first cast as Yente, years ago, she was a bit young for the part, but now, years later, Yente is quite a comfortable fit.

Helen began her career in theater as a "Meglin Kiddee" toddler where she was trained in every aspect of a performing actor - singing, dancing, pantomime, etc, and grew up appearing on radio, television, cinema, stage, as well as touring with the USO.

She has participated in National Tours of musicals and plays, including most recently The Tale of the Allergist's Wife, the hilarious Ovation Award Musical, Radio Gals, The Sound of Music, to name a few. You have also seen her in recent sit-coms such as "Scrubs," "Will & Grace," dramas, including "ER," "The Practice," etc.
FIDDLER ON THE ROOF previews March 19 and March 20, 2009. Opening is Saturday, March 21 at 7PM. Opening Night tickets are $125 and include a pre-show champagne reception, the opening performance, an after-party with cast and VIP's hosted by the Jewish Federation of Ventura County, and a tax-deductible donation to Rubicon.

Regular performances of FIDDLER ON THE ROOF continue through April 26 on Wednesdays at 2:00 p.m. ($49) and 7:00 p.m. ($59), Thursdays at 8:00 p.m. ($59), Fridays at 8:00 p.m. ($64), Saturdays at 2:00 p.m. ($59) and 8:00 p.m. ($69) and Sundays at 2:00 p.m. ($59). Seniors ages 65+ save $5 per ticket. Student and Equity tickets are available for $30 with ID. There is a $5 discount for tickets purchased for shows March 19 - 28 when purchased by March 14.

Discounts of up to 30% are available for groups of 12 or more, and group organizers receive one free ticket. To purchase single tickets or discounted group tickets, call the Rubicon box office at (805) 667-2900. To purchase tickets online, go to

Special performances include Talk Back Wednesdays: a chance to talk with the director and cast immediately after the 7pm performance on Wednesdays, March 25 and April 1.

All performances are at Rubicon Theatre, an intimate former church built in the 1920s. The theatre is located at 1006 E. Main Street (the corner of Main and Laurel) in Ventura's Downtown Cultural District.

Ticket prices $49 to $85. Please call Rubicon Theatre Company's box office at (805) 667-2900 or visit


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