“Fiddler on the Roof” takes audiences to Anatevka
Posted on 06/05/2019
Cast on stage performing opening number, with fiddler sitting on roof

Synopsis

Patriot High School’s “Fiddler on the Roof” brings the audience to a specific place in time. It is the dawn of the Russian Revolutionary period, 1905, during a time of growing anti-Semitism under Czar Nicholas II, in Anatevka, where we learn the story of Tevye, a poor milkman, and his five daughters.

Surrounded by a small circle of colorful Jewish community members, Tevye (Ian Felux) tries to protect his daughters and instill within them the traditional values of their faith and community, in the face of an ever-changing world. Tevya insists that without their traditions, their lives would be “as shaky as a fiddler on the roof” however his daughters, have other plans.

At the top of the show, Tevya’s three oldest daughters await matchmaking by the town match-maker, Yente (Tansy Huang), in a tradition in which girls do not pick their own suitors.

Tzeitel (Sadie Aram), Tevya’s oldest daughter, however, is already in love with her childhood friend, Motel (Myles Jones). Through a series of discussions between the matchmaker, community members, and her father, Tzeitel soon finds herself engaged to the town butcher, Lazar (Joel DaVila). Going against tradition, Tzeitel and Motel do their best to convince Tevya that love trumps tradition. Tevya allows the marriage, and the two are married by the Rabbi (Mr. Dan Nemerow).

Meanwhile, Tevya’s second oldest daughter, Hodel (Grace Comeau) also finds herself in love, without the help of the matchmaker. Hodel has fallen for her family’s guest, Perchik (Brandon Simmons), a young revolutionary student who is not from Anatevka, and does not abide by their traditional ways. Ultimately, Tevya must again learn that affairs of the heart do not always follow the traditions of the matchmaker.

Tevya’s third daughter, Chava (Caroline Lewis) challenges Tevya’s ties to his faith and tradition the most, when she finds herself in love with a young non-Jewish soldier named Fyedka (Tony Mirabal). This betrayal is entirely too much for Teyva to bear after watching his older daughters both stray from their traditional upbringing, and he disowns Chava.

Some time passes, and the unrest in the country begins to heighten. News comes to Anatevka that the Jewish community has three days to relocate elsewhere. It is only with the uprooting of their community, the uprooting of all tradition that the family has ever known, that Tevya speaks again with Chava.

"Fiddler on the Roof" Standout

The show featured period-appropriate costumes, a practical set, and a wonderful score performed by the orchestra pit. These well-designed technical elements did exactly what they should do–they fell away to the background and highlighted the performances. The true standout was the fantastic vocals. Leads and ensemble members alike sang beautifully, allowing for the story to shine through each musical number.

Back Stage

Audience members aren’t the only ones who become emotionally invested in what they see on stage. Actors and crew members develop a deep connection to the shows they are working on. Becca Davis, a junior who stage managed “Fiddler on the Roof” said, “I fell in love with this show. I love how it's not only about family, but about community and love in general. I've always been a fan of the belief that home isn't a place but rather the people who make a home, and I think the characters slowly learn this throughout the show.”

Becca also shared her favorite part of working with the Patriot Players to produce the show:

“I think what amazed me more than anything is the ability of the performers to tell the stories of these people with entirely different backgrounds and ages, not only through the delivery of their lines but through every little facial expression, sigh, or gesture. The subtleties that made these characters real people brought me to tears every night. I mentioned earlier that this show is all about home, and that's what it became to everyone involved, from those involved in it for months of work to those involved for only a night. It wasn't one big aspect of the show that they did best, but rather all the millions of small aspects that made it the real, honest show that ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ is.”