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TRAVEL & ENTERTAINMENT: Novato Theater Company Stages Beloved Musical “Fiddler on the Roof”

Apr 10, 2015
by Evan Almdale
You’ve undoubtedly heard the songs from “Fiddler on the Roof” before. One of the most popular musicals in history, “Fiddler on the Roof” is the story of family, love, change and tradition. The Novato Theater Company’s production brings new life and inspired vision to beloved “Fiddler” classic songs like ‘Sunrise, Sunset,’ ‘Tradition,’ ‘If I were a Rich Man,’ ‘Matchmaker,’ ‘To Life,’ etc. But have you seen the play? Incredibly, I hadn’t seen it before and catching it at the Novato Theater Company has been a sheer joy.

In it, the Russian village of Anatevka comes to life. It is a musical interpretation of Sholem Aleichem’s “Tevye and His Daughters.” The story is set in 1905 imperialistic Russia and centers on Tevye, the father of five daughters, and his attempts to maintain his Jewish religious and cultural traditions as outside influences encroach on the family’s lives. He must cope both with the strong-willed actions of his three older daughters—and each one’s choice of husband—and with mounting persecution of Jews by the Tsar.

Sholem Aleichem himself had to flee the tumultuous times of early 20th Century Imperial Russia, and “Fiddler” captures the heart of a people forced, seemingly forever, to be on the move.

Michael Walraven does a superb job creating a memorable Tevye. His sharp-tongued wife, Golde, played by Paula Gianetti, sings a beautiful “Do You Love Me?” The daughters, Bessie Zolno (Chava), Gena Madory (Hodel), Bouket Fingerhit (Tzeitel), are all excellent. And the fiddler! Ashley Kimball gives a brilliant performance.

The story was written in 1894, the play was first performed in 1964. “Fiddler” is as enduring and relevant in the 21st century as it was over 100 years ago.

“Mazel tov” to the Novato Theater Company for a job well done!

This Jerry Bock-Joseph Stein-Sheldon Harnick masterpiece currently plays through April 26 at the NTC Playhouse, 5420 Nave Drive in Novato. It is directed by award-winning Pat Nims, and choreographed by Kate Kenyon. Run time is approximately 130 minutes with one 15 minute intermission.

For more information please phone (415) 883-4498 or tickets can be purchased online at: http://www.novatotheatercompany.org.


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