Performance Review

Fiddler On The Roof

Youth Performing Arts

By Wally Stewart.

One of' the most memorable and loved musicals in the history of American theater sprang to life in April, charged with spirit, as the Youth Performing Arts School concluded this year's regular season with Joseph Stein's "Fiddler On the Roof"

Based on a collection of stories by Yiddish author Sholom Aleichem, "Fiddler" is more than just a show about a turn-of-the-century Jewish village in Russia. It speaks emotionally of mankind's abi1ity to overcome adversity and the need to grow as life changes.

The YPAS theater was at near capacity for the production's closing performance, which was enthusiastically received. With one exception, the cast and orchestra were composed of high school students and they vibrantly wove their story into and around the struggle of the central characters, a poor milkman named Tevye and his family.

The role of Tevye is critically important to the success of "Fiddler." In this production, he was played in exemplary fashion by senior Bo Cecil. Showing great attention to each detail of the extensive dialogue, dancing and singing, Cecil even grew a beard for the role. Stephanie Marcum convincingly portrayed Golde, the wife who carries out Tevye's wishes, but only when they are hers also.

Handling the roles of the five daughters were Shannon Noel as Tzeitel, Lorie Jarett as Hodel, Blythe Weiss as Chava, Elizabeth Button as Shprintze and Kelly Cole as Bielke. Kelli Pendleton styled her part as the busybody matchmaker, Yente.

Jamie Denney was Tzeitel's rejected suitor Lazar Wolf. Husbands for Tevye's daughters were Corwyn Hodge as Hodel, Jim Oates as Perchik and Christian Biel as Fyedka.

Sets were built and operated by YPAS students and, from the opening appearance of fiddler Todd Herbst to the conclusion, the performance went very smoothly.

Emotional offerings. ranged from comedic to sentimentality, as three of the daughters The villagers experienced poverty, persecution and, ultimately, forced departure from the village itself. The most poignant moment came during Tzeitel's wedding, when her family was joined by much of the cast to share the beautiful "Sunrise, Sunset" by candlelight.

The musical's enormous popularity continues, even after more than twenty-five years of stagings and all those involved at YPAS can be proud of a sparkling production.