It's an unusual way to start a musical. A fiddler sits precariously on a roof, scratching out a simple tune, trying his best not to fall off and break his neck. How does he keep his balance? In a word, tradition.
The Western Nevada Musical Theatre Company will present the show that celebrates the certainty and the challenges of tradition, Fiddler on the Roof, in nine performances November 5 through 20 at the Carson City Community Center.
Set in a little village in Czarist Russia, the story follows Tevye, a poor dairyman, as his three oldest daughters marry. Tevye struggles to retain his position as head of the household in selecting his daughters' husbands, but with each daughter, he finds he needs to reevaluate his traditions for his daughters' sake.
As he chooses to change his traditions to reflect a changing society, he needs to endure the objections of his wife, Golde, the matchmaker, Yente, and the townspeople of Anatevka. While the Jews struggle with changing relationships, they also struggle with persecutions and eventual eviction by the Russians. The people of Anatevke find their future is as precarious as that plaintive fiddler on a roof.
And the fiddler does animate this story along with other musicians, supporting such classics such as If I Were a Rich Man, Sunrise, Sunset, and Matchmaker. Winner of eight Tony awards and multiple Drama Desk awards, the show has been an international blockbuster since opening in 1964.
Playing Tevye in the WNMTC production is Jim DeZerga. Stephanie Arrigotti plays Golde, Caitlin Papp plays Yente, while the three oldest daughters are played by Lynette Brown, Rachel Jackson and Ashleigh Petrell. Professional violinist Daniel Yale plays the fiddler. Some 70 performers complete the cast. Stephanie Arrigotti is the producer and director. Show times are Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m., November 5 through 20. There is also a Saturday performance at 2 p.m. on November 19.
Admission is $18 general, $16 for students and seniors and $14 for youth 17 and younger. Block discounts are available for groups of 20 or more. Tickets are sold at Comma Coffee, 312 South Carson Street, Maytan Music on South Center Street in Reno, and the Western Nevada Community College Performing Arts Office on the Carson City campus. They may also be purchased by phone by calling 775-445-4249.
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