WVLO’s “Fiddler on the Roof” opens in November

brook-michelbergBy Ande Jacobson

“A fiddler on the roof. Sounds crazy, no? But in our little village of Anatevka, you might say every one of us is a fiddler on the roof, trying to scratch out a pleasant, simple tune without breaking his neck…how do we keep our balance? That I can tell you in a word – tradition!”

West Valley Light Opera is proud to present its production of Fiddler on the Roof this November and December in Saratoga, CA.  The show is an audience favorite that follows Tevye the dairyman, his family, and his community in that quaint little Russian village of Anatevka. Tevye tries to keep his community’s Jewish traditions alive amidst radical changes beyond his control. Filled with familiar songs such as “To Life!”, “If I Were a Rich Man”, “Tradition”, and “Sunrise, Sunset”, Fiddler strikes a chord. It’s filled with gentle humor and joyous ethnic celebrations along with hope and a touch of sadness.

Director Rebecca Brownson had no shortage of eager and talented actors to choose from at auditions. Together with her artistic staff including vocal director Diane Milo, choreographer Valerie Valenzuela-Misra, and musical director Roberta Howe, she assembled their village of Anatevka chock full of Fiddler veterans.

Heading the cast is Doug Brook as Tevye. Not only is he a theatrical and Jewish scholar, he directed a highly acclaimed (and successful) production of Fiddler with Sunnyvale Community Players in 2004. Rachel Michelberg plays his wife Golde, and she too is well versed in both Fiddler and in Jewish traditions having served as a temple cantor for many years. The Fiddler, Miho Nishi, reprises the role from Brook’s Sunnyvale production, and there are many others with extensive Fiddler experience sharing their talents to make this trip to Anatevka memorable.

As Brownson told her cast on the first night of rehearsal, the people of Anatevka help one another throughout their daily lives, and so it is with this production. All members of the company share their expertise and help one another to make this a truly unique, collaborative, and exciting production. There are some new things here, but you’ll have to come see the show to find out what they are.

fiddler scheduleTickets are available online through www.wvlo.org or by phone at 408-268-3777 (leave a message and they’ll call you back).

Performances are at the Saratoga Civic Theater located at: 13777 Fruitvale Avenue, Saratoga, CA 94070. Tickets are selling well and online sales have ended for some dates, but there may still be some seats available through phone orders for those performances.

The full cast (in order of appearance) includes:

Fiddler – Miho Nishi
Tevye – Doug Brook
Yente – Leslie Newport
Avram – Doug Hughes
Nachum – Bill Ereneta
Lazar Wolf – Robert Solis
Mendel – David Edwards
Rabbi – Larry Raboy
Golde – Rachel Michelberg
Tzeitel – Leher Pathak
Hodel – Kate Matheson
Chava – Christie Paz
Bielke – Janelle Gruss
Shprintze – Miranda Robinson
Motel – Ian Douglas
Mordcha – Steve Sammonds
Perchik – Sean Carson-Hull
Priest – Michael Mackenzie
Constable – Dan Zulevic
Fyedka – Richard Portune
Boris/Russian Tenor – Carmelo Rosado III
Sasha – Brett Carlson
Grandma Tzeitel – Lisa Allen
Fruma-Sarah – Angela Cesena
Shaindel – Dee Baily
Yussel – Earl Masuda
Ensemble (the rest of the villagers not named above):
Papa – Don Brownson
Mamas – Leslie Keenan, Barbara Kelly, Liz Paz
Sons – Thomas Aquino, George Fernadez, Ande Jacobson, Ali Molaei
Daughters – Madison Edwards, Makenzie Edwards, Rheagan Rizio

Note: Readers may have noticed a shortage of reviews on A Good Reed Review of late. That’s because this reviewer is in the cast and has been in rehearsal for this production. Since A Good Reed Review won’t be able to review this one, readers are encouraged to submit their impressions of the show in the comment section of this article. A Good Reed Review reviews should resume once Fiddler closes.

(Photo credit: Edmond Kwong)


3 thoughts on “WVLO’s “Fiddler on the Roof” opens in November

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