To the delight of local theatergoers, CenterStage Clovis Community Theater started its 26th season Thursday, July 13 with a production of the popular Broadway musical, “Fiddler on the Roof.” The play, based on Sholem Aleichem’s, “Tevye and his Daughters,” enchanted audiences with four performances weekly from opening night through July 22 at Mercedes Edwards Theater.
“This year we are pulling out all the stops and completely updating this venerable family classic,” said CenterStage artistic director and “Fiddler” director Scott Hancock. “Rather than rent a set, we set out to build a versatile unit set complete with multiple layers and textures. The staging that one comes to expect from ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ is also completely re-imagined.”
The result, along with vocal director Judith Dickison, Good Company Players favorite Darren Tharp and the CenterStage cast fully engaged the audience.
“This is so much better than watching a movie or DVD,” said viewer Mandi Jenkins. “I really like live theater; you feel more a part of what’s going on and it pulls you in. These actors are amazing … who knew we had such talent right here?”
“I love the music,” said her friend, Robert. “I’ll have ‘Traditions’ playing in my head for days.”
Created by Broadway legends Jerome Robbins and Harold Prince, author Joseph Stein and songwriters Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick, “Fiddler on the Roof” debuted in 1964. The humor, music and storyline moved audiences and won the production nine Tony Awards.
The story centers on Tevye, a poor milkman, and his five daughters, who live in the little village of Anatevka during the growing anti-Semitism era of Czarist Russia. With the help of a colorful and tight-knit Jewish community, Tevye tries to protect his daughters and instill them with traditional values in the face of changing social mores.
Due to the changing times and “modern” thought, Tevye’s daughters want to make their own love matches and forego traditional arranged marriages. The resulting cultural conflict gives us such memorable classics as “If I Were A Rich Man,” “Matchmaker, Matchmaker,” “Sunrise, Sunset,” “Tradition,” and “Fiddler on the Roof.”
Tevye: Darren Tharp
Golde: Jennifer Gotten
Yente: Melanie Heyl
Lazar Wolf: Larry Mattox
Tzeitel: Teanca Rossouw
Motel: Michael Gil/Matt Schwartz (Double cast)
Hodel: Emily Pofahl
Perchik: Caleb Harbin
Chava: Mary Bouton
CenterStage Clovis Community Theatre is a community-based non-profit (501c3) organization dedicated to bringing fine live theatre to the valley community while providing theater opportunities for local actors and technicians. Open auditions are held for each production and interested community members are invited to participate. A highly accomplished production staff works together with cast and crew to create fine comedy, musical and dramatic productions.
CenterStage is supported through community donations, sponsors and theater box office revenues. The next scheduled production, “Plaid Tidings,” a holiday edition of “Forever Plaid,” runs from Nov. 30 to Dec. 2 at Clovis Veterans Memorial District.
Tickets are $18-20. Student, senior and group discounts are available. For more information visit www.centerstageclovis.com or call (559) 323-8744.