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Story Archives: 'Fiddler' crosses centuries with history and music
|'Fiddler' crosses centuries with history and music|
When "Fiddler on the Roof" opens at the Princess Theatre on July 31, it will bring to Winnsboro a combination of the history of Jews persecuted in Russia at the end of the 19th century, and the exuberance of Broadway musicals of the 20th century.
"We're branching out with Fiddler," said Princess creative director Gene Thompson. "We're stretching the cast, the crew and the musicians."
"Fiddler on the Roof" is from the stories of "Tevye the Milkman" by Sholem Aleichem, published in 1894. Aleichem, also a Russian Jew, wrote in Yiddish, a language written in Hebrew.
The music of "Fiddler" was written by Jerry Bock. In 1965 he won two Tony Awards for "Fiddler" – one for best composer and the second for best musical. Sheldon Harnick and Joseph Stein won the Tony Award in 1965 for "Fiddler's" lyrics.
Leigh Jonson, musical director for "Fiddler," and Noble Ellington III, have the intense task of bringing the musical selections to life for the production.
Some of the more recognizable songs from the musical are "Sunrise, Sunset," "If I Were a Rich Man" and "Matchmaker."
"Fiddler on the Roof" opened on Broadway on Sept. 22 1964, and held the longest-running musical designation for almost 10 years, until surpassed by "Grease." There was a revival on Broadway in 2004.
"Fiddler" will have a shorter – but no less exciting – run in Winnsboro, July 31 through August 4 at the Princess Theatre.
"Yes, it's a musical, but it is so much more," Thompson said. "The story, the interaction of the characters, aren't second to the music, they are an integral part of it. I think after people see the production, look at musicals in a new way. Maybe seeing the whole package and not just one or two songs."
To reserve tickets ($15 adults, $12 children 12 and under) call the Princess at 435-6299 or (800) 435-6299; email email@example.com or www.princesstheatreinc.com.
LEIGH JONSON (left) and Noble Ellington III are the musicians for "Fiddler on the Roof," the summer production of the Princess Theatre. (Sun photo by Monica Huff)