Fiddler on the Roof dazzles audiences at the Lester Centre of the Arts

The cast and crew of Prince Rupert's community musical, Fiddler on the Roof, entertained audiences throughout the weekend.

After months of practicing, over fifty members of the community presented the classic musical Fiddler on the Roof, for three nights in a row at the Lester Centre of the Arts.

The all-ages cast and crew entertained audiences with their singing, dancing and acting talents while telling the story of the village of Anatevka in 1905.

Set in pre-revolutionary Russia, Fiddler on the Roof revolves around poor Jewish milkman, Tevye (Played by Andy Enns, who did an outstanding job portraying his character) and his family consisting of his quick-witted wife, Golde (Done by experienced-actress Alison O’Toole) and their five daughters Tzeitel (Jenna Cann), Hodel (Angelica Jesser), Chava (Paula Loroff), Shprintze (Taryn Wesley) and Bielke (Emily Cavin). Throughout the musical, Tevye has to deal with challenges brought on by his poverty, the harmful attitudes of non-Jewish members of the community and challenges to his long-held traditions from the romantic entanglements of his daughters.

The gossipy village matchmaker Yente (Acted out superbly by Margaret Logan) tries to set up Tevye’s oldest daughter Tzeitel and the communities’ wealthy butcher Lazar Wolf (Played hilariously by Keith Lambourne) and after getting drunk with Lazar, Tevye agrees. Soon after he discovers that his daughter is in love with a poor tailor and childhood friend Motel (Acted out by Paul Beaulieu).

With Sabbath approaching, Tevye invites Perchik (Played by actor Kieren Nelson), a young, idealistic man to join them for Sabbath, and tutor his two youngest daughters. After an argument between Perchik and Hodel about Perchik’s lesson, the two dance together, breaking a tradition of the Jewish faith.

Tevye successfully convinces his wife Golde that their eldest daughter should marry Motel in a comical scene when Tevye describes a “dream” he had to his wife. In his dream, Golde’s grandmother Tzeitel (Played by Trudy Martin) and Lazar Wolf’s dead wife Fruma-Sarah (Played by Patty Forman) come back from the dead, along with zombie-like creatures, telling Tevye to not let his eldest daughter marry the much-older and widowed butcher.

Now that her parents are convinced, Tzeitel marries Motel in the final scene of act one, where a fight between Tevye and Lazar Wolf breaks out, as well as dismay from the fact that Perchik and Hodel dance together at the wedding. The celebration ends unexpectedly when a group of Russians come to the village to perform the “demonstration”. They disrupt the wedding party, damaging the wedding gifts and wound Perchik, who attempted to fight back against them.

Act two starts off with Perchik telling Hodel that he must return to Kiev to work for the coming Russian Revolution. He proposes to Hodel, once again breaking a tradition, and the two seek Tevye’s blessing. After his departure, news arrives that Perchik has been arrested and exiled to Siberia. Hodel then leaves Anatevka to join him.

Meanwhile, Chava forms a romance with the non-Jewish Fyedka (Acted by Pierrot Fillion). Chava goes to her father and asks for his permission to get married to Fyedka, however Tevye cannot get over the idea of his daughter marrying outside of the faith, and vows to never speak to her again because of her tradition-breaking romance.

Some months later, Motel finally can afford a sewing machine, which means he and Tzeitel can make money. The two have also become parents of a baby in past months.

However there isn’t much time to enjoy their new life, as the head of the Russian authority in Anatevka, the Constable (Performance by Dan Bubas) warns villagers that the Russians are expelling the Jews from their village.

All the members of the family disperse from the village, and head towards their new lives in various locations, all the while with the fiddler (Played by Noah Ferland) following them.

The Prince Rupert production featured classic songs from Fiddler on the Roof including “Traditions”, “If I Were a Rich Man” and “Matchmaker, Matchmaker” done by musicians Peter Witherly, Cristina Soto, Elaine Luscher, Dawn Quast, Denise Russell, Jana Weir, Kristy Tillman, John Turner, Patricia Roubicek, Dennis Blake, Rumi Kodama, Jessica and Doug Hembroff, Katie Lyon, Toni Carlson, Kevin Shrubsall and Charles Justice. The musical team performed over twenty songs for the musical.

The production team for Fiddler on the Roof included Rudy Kelly as director, Peter Witherly as the musical director, Jewel Jerstad being in charge of the choreography and Crystal Lorette as the show’s producer.

The musical originated from the book by Joseph Stein, which is based on Sholom Aleichem’s stories. Along with catchy music by Jerry Bock and lyrics by Sheldon Harnick that can easily get stuck in ones head, Fiddler on the Roof entertained.

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