(COVINGTON, La.) — It’s been 20 years since “Fiddler on the Roof” last made its appearance on the St. Paul’s Campus, but beginning on March 22 in the Alumni Memorial Theatre, the musical will once again play into the hearts of the community.
The plot centers on Tevye, a poor Jewish milkman who is focused on marrying off three of his daughters, all while growing tensions against semitic settlements are churning around his Jewish village.
“Fiddler on the Roof” is a two-act musical based on the book by Joseph Stein, with music by Jerry Bock, lyrics by Sheldon Harnick, and based on “Tevye and His Daughters” by Sholem Aleichem. The original production of the musical on Broadway was nominated for ten Tony Awards, winning nine. The 1971 film, which proved a success, won Best Motion Picture at the 1972 Golden Globe Awards.
“Everything about the show is beautiful…the message, the music, the storyline,” St. Paul’s Marian Players director Denny Charbonnet said. “The show is near and dear to my heart because it has something very powerful to say and because it was my daughter Elise’s last show here her senior year, and she was Golde.”
Charbonnet considered bringing the musical back after her daughter, Elise Angelette, encouraged her to pray about it, and because the message is so powerful.
“Tradition is something that provides hope even in the roughest of times,” Isaac Hebert, who portrays the lead role Tevye, said. “Tevye goes through a lot with his family, but it’s because of his tradition, faith in God, and trust in God that he is able to get through it all. It’s all about that trust in God.”
The cast and crew of the show hope that the audience also understands the message and valuable lessons this musical can teach.
“I hope the audience learns about balance,” Reagan Hill, who portrays supporting role Perchik, said. “That’s something I have trouble with, finding balance between your family and faith and love.”
Charbonnet feels that the message of the play is the most important aspect and is delivered through the characters themselves and what’s going on inside of them. At one point in the play Tevye says, “We all know who God is and what he expects us to do.”
“That’s what drives our show,” Charbonnet said, “Tevye and the Jewish people and their relationship with God. And with us as Catholics and Christians coming out of that Judeo-Christian heritage, that is our heritage. The Jewish people are all part of our culture and heritage.”
The leading cast includes Isaac Hebert as Tevye, Margaret Baglow as Golde, Bella Vargas as Yente, Chloe Charbonnet as Tzietel, Julia Albright as Hodel, and Abigail Hayes as Chava.
Supporting characters are Nico Arcuri as Lazar Wolf, Luke Vargas as Motel, Reagan Hill as Perchick, and Christian Butler as Fyedka.
Other characters include Justin McCleskey as Mordcha, Josh Rovira as Rabbi, Jack Fleming as Mendel, Hailey Bereziuk as Grandma Tzietel, Grace Pierson as Fruma Sarah, Reagan Hightower as Shaindel, AJ Lacroix as Avram the Bookseller, Austin Scheyd as Nachum the Beggar, Adrian Millan as Fiddler, Caleb Frost as Constable, Elias Simpson as Yussel the Hatmaker, Chris Wallace as Sasha, Bella Angelette as Bielke, Sophia Angelette as Sphrintze, Olivia Charbonnet as Teibel, and Jacob Eilers and Shane Davies as Russian Soloists.
Russian Soldiers are portrayed by Ryan Hill, Anthony Bonano, John Baglow, Alex Prokop, Gabe Daigle, Tyler Chelena, Ethan Hopel, Evan Vamprine, and Charles Hoy.
Village Men are portrayed by Brady Meibaum, David Barcelona, Callan Danenhower, Evan Carse, Trevor Achee, Jonathan Wellmeyer, Jack Hanes, Hal Fox, Johnny Bergeron, and Evan Meral. Village Boys are portrayed by Jude Angelette and Adam Charbonnet.
The Village Women’s Chorus includes Abby Aldridge, Hannah Simpson, Grace Seghers, Ellie Wright, Kiley McDonnel, Ceci Falkenstein, Madeleine Bechac, Margaret Mary Russel, Emma Hladky, and Heather O’Mahony.
Villagers include Jullian Rodriguez, Anna Hummel, Tanner Rapier, Abigail Pittman, Kaylin Thomson, Sarah Hoerner, Kaylyn McCarthy, Amanda Scheyd, Claire Perret, Rebecca Henshaw, Ellie Jambon, Anna Kate Broussard, and Helen Robinson.
Dancers include Isabel Rodrigues, Kerrigan Jackson, Kaitlin Vicari, Ella Bereziuk, Katie Wright, Mary Butzman, Elizabeth Krutzfeldt, Caroline Krutzfeldt, Maggie Guidry, Erin Russel, Gracie Jambon, and Christina Vicari.
The production crew includes Director Denny Charbonnet, Assistant Director Barrett Baumgartner, Technical Director Michael Boudreaux, Choreographer and Costume Designer Elise Angelette, Choreographer Ed Morvant, Lighting Designer Ellen Lipkos, Stage Manager Johnathan Wellmeyer, and Caden Chitwood as stage crew.
Musical Director Bro. Ken Boesch, FSC, is assisted by Vocal Coach Shawn Patterson, Briggs Cooper on keyboard, Jack Elder on guitar, and Randy Lanier on percussion.
Additional credit goes to John Carambat for poster design and program cover; Heidi Scheuermann for the program; Ethan Hopel for publicity; Michael Boudreaux, Barrett Baumgartner, Rick Baumgartner, and Chris Pierson for set construction; Kim Hill for Parent Coordinator; Angela Rovira for concessions; Janet McRae, Shelley Falkenstein, Abby Aldridge, and the moms for make-up; Jennifer Meibaum for hair; Rhonda Baumgartner, Angelle Albright, and the moms for props; Evette Thatcher, Lisa Jackson, Renee Sibley, Rachel Autin, and the moms for costume construction; Barrett Baumgartner, Stephanie Ruli, Emily Ruli, Jenn Hayes, Abby Hayes, Ella Bereziuk, Jennifer Bereziuk, Chloe Charbonnet, Julia Albright, Katie Wright, Josh Rovira, Margaret Baglow, Luke Vargas, and the Theatre II class for set artwork, Elizabeth Krutzfeldt for Dance Captain; and Annette and Bobby Thomas for t-shirts.
The Musical runs March 22, 24, 25, 29, 30, 31, and April 1 at 7 p.m. with matinee performances on March 26 and April 2 at 3 p.m. Tickets are available in the Administration Building on St. Paul’s Campus, which can be reached at (985) 892-3200 ext. 0, or at Braswell Drugs on Tyler St. in Covington, (985) 892- 0818. Tickets are $10 for students and $15 for adults.
Originally produced on the New York Stage by Harold Price and originally directed and choreographed by Jerome Robbins, “Fiddler on the Roof” is presented through special arrangement with and all authorized performance materials supplied by Music Theatre International, 421 West 54th Street, New York, N.Y. 10019.