FIDDLER ON THE ROOF Opens at Pittburgh CLO, 7/13

By: Jul. 05, 2012
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Pittsburgh CLO will present Fiddler on the Roof, July 13-22 at the Benedum Center. This classic tale is filled with "memorable music, rousing dances and a touch of human wisdom."

Fiddler on the Roof captures the colorful story of one Jewish father’s struggle to hold on to his family’s traditions amidst the rebellious antics of his three independent daughters and the turmoil of an ever-changing world. With its rich score by Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick that includes favorites such as “If I Were a Rich Man,” “Sunrise, Sunset,” “Matchmaker, Matchmaker” and “Tradition,” this award-winning musical has touched audiences around the world with its humor, warmth and honesty.


Lewis J. Stadlen (Tevye) made his professional debut in 1967, playing Mendel the rabbi’s son in the National Company of Fiddler on the Roof. He has played Max Bialystock over seven hundred times in The Producers, in the National Company and on Broadway. Mr. Stadlen garnered early attention portraying Groucho Marx in Minnie’s Boys; Voltaire, Dr. Pangloss, etc., in Leonard Bernstein's Candide (Tony Award® Nomination) and Ben Silverman in The Sunshine Boys. He has originated roles in three other Neil Simon plays: Forty Five Seconds from BroadwayLaughter on the 23rd Floor and the female version of The Odd Couple. Other Broadway roles include Senex in the revival of A Funny Thing… starring Nathan Lane (Tony® nomination), Banjo in The Man Who Came to Dinner and Krinsky in The People in the Picture. Stadlen also played Nathan Detroit in the National Company of Guys and Dolls and Harry the Hoofer in The Time of Your Life, starring Henry Fonda. Select film credits include: “The Verdict,” “Serpico,” “To Be or Not to Be” and “In & Out.” He has also appeared on television on “SMASH” and “The Sopranos.”

Susan Cella (Golde) is a Pittsburgh CLO veteran and counts the following among her credits: 42nd Street; Bye, Bye Birdie; Gypsy, The Most Happy Fella and Me and My Girl. Her Broadway credits include The Graduate, Crazy He Calls Me, Me and My Girl, Evita, On the Twentieth Century, and Allegro and Lady in the Dark for Encores!, in addition to many appearances on the small and silver screens.

Tim Hartman (Constable) has performed in over two dozen Pittsburgh CLO productions. His Broadway credits include Finian’s Rainbow andA Tale of Two Cities and he has performed regionally as Don Quixote in The Man of LaMancha, Daddy Warbucks in Annie, El Gallo in The Fantasticks and Captain Von Trapp in The Sound of Music. Other favorites include Senex in A Funny Thing…, Falstaff in Henry IV, and C.S. Lewis in Shadowlands. Hartman has also appeared as Merlin in Camelot, Mr. Ziegfeld in Funny Girl with Ana Gasteyer, FDR in Annie and twenty-four characters in the one-man show The Cotton Patch Gospel. His film credits include “Silence of the Lambs,” “The Piano Lesson,” “The Mothman Prophecies” and “The Mysteries of Pittsburgh.”

Hunter Ryan Herdlicka (Fyedka) recently starred on Broadway in A Little Night Music opposite Catherine Zeta-Jones and Angela Lansbury, followed by Bernadette Peters and Elaine Stritch. His credits include Othello and Fiddler on the Roof with the Utah Shakespearean Festival, as well as three seasons with the West Virginia Public Theatre. Herdlicka is a 2009 graduate of Carnegie Mellon University

Jeff Howell (Mordcha) is a Pittsburgh CLO veteran, having performed in dozens of productions throughout the years. Other credits include Beauty and the BeastCandideBells are RingingMrs. Bob Cratchit’s Wild Christmas BingeChicago and Man of LaMancha. He has also appeared on television and film in “All My Children,” “The Young and the Restless,” “Equal Justice,” “The Oksana Baiul Story,” “The Cemetery Club,” “Sudden Death,” “The Dark Half” and “The Bride in Black.” His additional work with the Pittsburgh Symphony includes A Tribute to Lerner and LoeweOf Thee I SingClassical Rap, and Peter and the Wolf.

Anne Markt (Chava) graduated from the University of Michigan with a BFA in Musical Theatre. Since graduating, Ms. Markt has performed as the Female Standby in The Fantasticks off-Broadway and as a swing in the National Tour of Hair. She has also performed in many regional theatres across the country, including the St. Louis MUNY, Cain Park and Great Lakes Theatre Festival.

David Perlman (Motel) makes his Pittsburgh CLO debut after appearing on Broadway in Baby It’s You! He toured nationally and across Europe in Madagascar Live!, Hair and Schoolhouse Rock Live!  His additional credits include Yank!, Sunset Boulevard, Altar Boyz, Forever Plaid and a variety of film and television appearances such as “30 Rock,” “Law & Order” and “The Butcher’s New Day.”

Joel Robertson (Lazar Wolfe) played Fyedka in the National Tour of Fiddler on the Roof with Herschel Bernardi and now makes his Pittsburgh CLO debut as Lazar Wolf. His Broadway credits include Fiddler on the Roof  (directed by Jerome Robbins), the original cast of Cats at the Winter Garden Theater (directed by Trevor Nunn), Les Miserables at The Broadway and Imperial Theaters, the original cast of Parade at the Vivian Beaumont Theater at Lincoln Center (directed by Hal Prince), Jekyll and Hyde at the Plymouth Theater and Santa Claus in Radio City's Christmas Spectacular in Chicago.

Gene A. Saracini (Rabbi) has appeared in over two dozen CLO productions, performing his favorite roles of the Congressional Secretary in1776 and Doc in West Side Story multiple times. His additional regional credits include PICT’s Tartuffe and Hamlet and City Theatre’sTemptation. Early in his career, he toured the US and Canada in Shakespearean repertory. “Doc” Saraceni also taught at Seton Hill University for 37 years.

Emily Shoolin (Tzeitel) Direct from her Broadway debut as Emily Osborn in Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark, Ms. Shoolin will now be making her Pittsburgh CLO debut. Her other recent credits include Annie (Grace Farrell, Pioneer Theatre Company),Enter Laughing (Wanda, Bay Street & York Theatres), the National Tour of Fiddler on the Roof  (u/s Tzeitel/Hodel), The Tin Pan Alley Rag (u/s Dorothy Goetz, Roundabout Theatre Company), Nerds: A Musical Software Satire (Myrtle, Philadelphia Theatre Company) and her one-woman show, Perfect Isn't Easy, performed at the Laurie Beechman Theatre.

Nick Verina (Perchik) was recently seen as Young Ben in the Broadway revival of Follies starring Bernadette Peters. His National Tour credits include Grease (Sonny) and Forbidden Broadway: SVU. His other New York and regional credits include Follies (Kennedy Center and Ahmanson Theatre), Altar Boyz (Chicago, Abe), That Time of the Year (York Theatre, original cast recording) and Wallenberg (NYMF and WPPAC). Verina has studied with Second City in Chicago and UCB in New York.

Kay Walbye (Yente) makes her Pittsburgh CLO debut. Her Broadway credits include Urinetown, Titanic, The Secret Garden, Run for Your Wife and The Rose Tattoo, as well as Encores! productions of Juno and Bye, Bye Birdie. Walbye has also performed regionally in Damn Yankees, How I Learned to Drive, A Christmas Memory, Pygmalion, Oklahoma! and The Front Page. 

Lauren Wordsham (Hodel) also joins Pittsburgh CLO for the first time. Her New York and National Tour credits include:Where's Charley (Amy, Encores!), Dog Days (Lisa, NYCO's VOX), The Mikado (Pitti-Sing, Carnegie Hall), Candide(Cunegonde, NYCO) and Spelling Bee (Olive, First National Tour). She has also appeared regionally in Carnival! (Lili, Goodspeed), Into the Woods (Cinderella, KC Rep), Master Class (Sophie, Paper Mill) and The Light in the Piazza (Clara, Weston Playhouse). Her concert work includes performances at the Oregon Bach Festival, Joe's Pub and Galapagos Art Space.

The cast of Fiddler on the Roof will also be joined by 12 students from the Pittsburgh CLO Academy, many making their Benedum Center debuts: Victoria Carswell, Jake Curtis, William Davis, Alexis Feldman, Michael Kovavich, Joshua Mann, Maximus Martier, Ruby Paul, Alex Stripsky, Stefanee Sybo, Ellie Bryn Tongel and Lucia Williams.


Jack Allison (Director) returns to Pittsburgh CLO after directing over a dozen productions between 1978 and 1987. He has directed at most of the major regional theaters in the U.S., Canada, and Europe, including The Walnut Street Theatre, Coconut Grove Playhouse, Cincinnati Opera and the North Shore Music Theatre. In New York, he has staged acclaimed productions at the Manhattan Theatre Club and The Circle Repertory Company. He premiered Cabaret at The National Theatre of Belgium. Mr. Allison has received prestigious awards for his direction, including three Florida Carbonell Awards and three Boston Globe Best of Season Awards. He received a B.A. degree from New Jersey City University, received his M.A. degree from Catholic University and studied for a Ph.D. degree from the University of Denver. Mr. Allison also serves as Head of Musical Theatre at Point Park University, is a member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society and was recently inducted into the National Society of Arts and Letters.

Mark Esposito (Choreographer) has choreographed several Pittsburgh CLO productions including The Sound of Music, Brigadoon, Guys and Dolls, Fiddler on the Roof, She Loves Me, The Music Man, Tommy, Carousel and Oklahoma! He has also choreographed for North Shore Music Theatre in MA, Sacramento Music Circus in CA, Blowing Rock Stage Company in NC, The York Theatre Company and Signature Theatre Company in NYC and in LA at The Hollywood Bowl choreographing South Pacific starring Reba McEntire and Brian Stokes Mitchell. He is also the choreographer for the annual holiday show Yuletide Celebration starring the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra with Sandi Patti and has served as associate director/choreographer for the Radio City Christmas Show starring The Rockettes. Mr. Esposito also served as the consultant choreographer for Walt Disney Global Casting and hired talent for their shows in Tokyo Disney Resorts. He has performed in over 16 Broadway and National Tours and has assisted or worked for Jerome Robbins, Michael Kidd, Agnes De Mille, Michael Bennett, Rob Marshall and Bob Fosse.

Tom Helm (Music Director) returns for his 17th season with Pittsburgh CLO. His theater credits include the Broadway productions of SouvenirLes MiserablesMe and My GirlCats and Brigadoon. He has also contributed his talents to television programs such as “Crazy for You” and the “Today Show.” Mr. Helm has conducted at Radio City Music Hall, Paper Mill Playhouse and many other regional shows and national theaters.

John McLain (Lighting Designer) returns for his 23rd season with Pittsburgh CLO, which began in 1988 with The Wizard of Oz. His credits include major musicals, ballet, opera, Las Vegas, Broadway, road shows, ice shows and many international productions.


Fiddler on the Roof, with a book by Joseph Stein, music by Jerry Bock and lyrics by Sheldon Harnick, premiered at Broadway’s Imperial Theatre on September 22, 1964. The original production was directed and choreographed by Jerome Robbins and Tevye was played Zero Mostel. It was the first musical theater production in history to have a Broadway run surpassing 3,000 performances, closing with a total of 3,242.

The show was originally titled Tevye and is based on the 1894 story “Tevye and His Daughters” (or “Tevye the Milkman”) by Sholem Aleichem, a leading Yiddish author and playwright. Its ultimate title, Fiddler on the Roof, was inspired by a painting called “The Fiddler” by Marc Chagall. The fiddler is a metaphor for survival in a life of change and uncertainty through the upholding of tradition and joy.

Fiddler on the Roof won nine out of the ten 1965 Tony® Awards for which it was nominated, including Best Musical, Score, Book, Direction and Choreography. Since then, the show has enjoyed four successful Broadway revivals as well as a film adaption produced in 1971 starring Chaim Topol as Tevye. The film won two Golden Globe Awards and three Academy Awards. The show’s continued international success to this day is a true testament to the way in which its colorful story about the lives and customs of poor Jews in villages of Czarist Russia appeals to people of all faiths and ethnic backgrounds.


Joseph Stein (Book) (1912-2010) began his professional life as a psychiatric social worker but eventually went on to write for television and radio personalities including Henry Morgan, Hildegard, Tallulah Bankhead and Jackie Gleason, among others. He made his Broadway debut collaborating with Will Gluck on sketches for the 1948 revue Lend Me an Ear. In addition to his immense success in 1964 with Fiddler on the Roof, Stein is also known for writing the book for Zorba, an adaptation of Nikos Kazantzakis’ novel Zorba the Greek. His additional Broadway credits include Alive and Kicking, Mr. Wonderful, The Body Beautiful, Juno, Take Me Along, Irene, Carmelina, The Baker’s Wife, RagsEnter Laughing; So Long, 147th Street and All About Us. Stein also wrote the plays Mrs. Gibbons’ Boys and Before the Dawn as well as co-wrote the film adaptation of Enter Laughing with Carl Reiner.

Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick (Music and Lyrics) Jerry Bock (1928-2010) and Sheldon Harnick (b. 1924) are one of the best known musical theater duos of the 20th century, having written such successful shows as Fiorello!, Fiddler on the Roof, She Loves Me, The Apple Tree, Tenderloin and The Rotschilds. Bock attended the University of Wisconsin and began his career as a professional composer at Camp Tamiment in Pennsylvania. Aside from his collaborations with Harnick, he made contributions to the Broadway productions of Catch a Star, The Ziegfeld Follies of 1956 and Mr. Wonderful, as well as penned the score for a short film entitled Wonders of Manhattan. Harnick attended Northwestern University and has contributed his talents to the musicals New Faces of 52, Shangri-La, Coyote Tales, Dragons and The Phantom Tollbooth, among many others. As a duo, Bock and Harnick set a record by writing five shows in seven years and hold three Tony Awards for their work on Fiorello! andFiddler on the RoofFiorello! also earned them the prestigious Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1960, which they shared with show collaborators Jerome Weidman and George Abbott.

Performance Schedule for Fiddler on the Roof


July 13

8:00 p.m.


July 14

2:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.


July 15

2:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.


July 17

8:00 p.m.


July 18

8:00 p.m.


July 19

8:00 p.m.


July 20

8:00 p.m.


July 21

2:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.


July 22

2:00 p.m.

Tickets range from $10-$65 are available online at, by calling 412-456-6666 or at the Box Office at Theater Square. Groups of 10 or more enjoy exclusive discounts and specialty packages. Call our Group Sales Hotline at 412-325-1582for more information. Visit for further information.

Pittsburgh CLO gratefully acknowledges the generosity of PNC for its sponsorship of the PNC Spotlight Series, our Season Sponsors: American Airlines, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and WTAE-TV.


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