BWW Interviews: Five-Minutes with the FIDDLER and Chanhassen's leading man, Keith Rice

Keith Rice is quite a familiar face on the Chanhassen Dinner Theatre stage, and currently he is starring in the company's production of FIDDLER ON THE ROOF. It's a show full of family and most importantly love. So, with Valentine's Day fast-approaching and slew of happy couples looking for something to commemorate the special day, we caught up with Rice to talk FIDDLER, theatre and his plans for the holiday. Find out below how you can win two tickets to CDT's production of FIDDLER (dinner and a show) for you and that special someone on Valentine's Day. What is FIDDLER ON THE ROOF about from Tevye's point of view?

Keith Rice: Here is what Fiddler on the Roof is about from Tevye's point of view spoken in his voice, "I'm a simple man. I love God, my faith, my people! If I were a rich man I see all the wonderful things I could do, but, alas, the way things are I have to work. What do I do? You may ask. I am a dairyman, I travel from town to town delivering my goods. Oh, and I have five beautiful daughters they are the apple of my eye. Golde, my wife, she takes care of things while I am away and does the best to keep things going with what I can provide. Don't let her know I said that. Living in Anatevka is hard, constant persecution and harassment from the locals and from the authorities, but we are a tight knit community and watch out for each other. I am a dreamer and believe we will all, one day, live together in peace and harmony. I am also a realist and how we will survive in this harsh environment only God knows and that is my strength."

BWW: What in your background prepared you to play Tevye?

KR: My background: 50 years in show business, acting, singing and dancing. My own personal relationship with God and the love he bestows on his creation. The love of family and the values of loving and rearing that go with the territory.

BWW: Are there any roles that you have not performed yet that you would like to play?

KR: Yes! THE KING AND I, GUYS AND DOLLS, but that is the future - and Tevye can only think of the here and now!

BWW: What is it about FIDDLER ON THE ROOF that makes it such a popular show 46 years after it opened to acclaim on Broadway?

KR: It's amazing how many chords this show hits with people. On any given night you can see them singing along with the music as if reliving a special moment in their own lives. They tap their feet and clap along stirred by the incredible melodies. Some nights we hear them laughing and crying, living the moments that we are portraying on stage. It is a story that evokes emotion at every turn and doesn't leave any stone unturned. It is the struggle of a man trying to keep his family together under the hardest of times all the while balancing his tradition and the will of God. It strikes to the very core of who we are as human beings all done in the course of 3 hours, amazing.

BWW: Do you have someone special this Valentine's Day? How are you spending this holiday?

KR: The one truly special person in my life is my one and only Wife, Dena. 30 years and still going strong. Valentine's Day will be spent with a loaf of bread, a jug of wine and thou, my Dena. Oh, and also a movie we've been dying to see.

BWW: Why do you think a seeing FIDDLER ON THE ROOF would be a wonderful evening for a couple?

KR: Valentine's Day is a big event here at Chanhassen - where people come to celebrate their very special occasions. As a husband and wife team who both work in the world of theatre, Valentine's Day is spent on the job unless it falls on a Monday!

Looking for something to do on Valentine's Day? Follow and tweet @BWW_Minneapolis with a picture of you and your special someone, a quick note explaining why a night at Chanhassen Dinner Theatre would make your day for lovers extra special and #CDTvalentine. Winners will be announced via BWW Minneapolis Twitter and CDT's Facebook page on February 10.

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From This Author Noah Lee Jordan

Noah Lee Jordan was born in Tucson, Arizona blindly unaware of his true calling---a life surrounded by bright lights, big stages and live theatre. He (read more...)


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