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'Fiddler on the Roof' continues SCERA tradition

By Rosemarie Howard

For the Deseret News

Published: Friday, Aug. 10 2012 1:53 p.m. MDT

Scera's "Fiddler on the Roof"

Jaren Wilkey/BYU, Jaren Wilkey/BYU

"THE FIDDLER ON THE ROOF," SCERA Shell, through Aug . 18, Mondays and Thursday through Saturday, at 8 p.m., two and a half hours, with a 15-minute intermission, scera.org/events/view/284

OREM — “Fiddler on the Roof” played to a capacity, family-filled crowd at the SCERA Shell outdoor amphitheater.

The timeless story, set in 1905 Tsarist Russia, was nicely performed. The characters are Tevye (Neal Barth); his wife, Golde (Agnes Broberg); their five daughters, Tzeitel (Hannah Herring), Hodel (Katie Abbott), Chava (Emily Erdmann), Shprintze (Grace Elison) and Bielke (Olivia Dayton); and the townspeople of Anatevka.

It is a story about family and traditions, and there are some explosive as well as touching, tender moments as Tevye and Golde see their three oldest daughters marry — one of them outside the Jewish faith — each without the aid of a matchmaker, and the entire village deals with change.

Although it felt like the 67-member cast is still establishing itself as an ensemble, and there were a few problems with actors singing in sync with the music sound track, overall the performance was fairly even and very enjoyable.

The show has a down-to-earth, deliberately “unpolished” feel. For instance, when Tevye and Lazar Wolf (Robert Holcombe Sr.) celebrate Tzeitel’s marriage agreement in the local inn singing “To Life,” the choreography reflects the fact that these men have been drinking.

The set, well-designed by Teri Griffin, features a road center stage that seems to disappear into a large yellow sphere that serves as both the sun or a full moon. It is versatile, simple and done in bright earth tones.

Costumes, by Deborah Bowman, complement the set design and are done in mostly subdued colors with splashes of bright red, blues and greens.

Other tech team members include Penny Colvin, choreographer; music director, Martha Glissmeyer; and Mark Ohran, lighting designer.

Jerry Elison has directed shows at the SCERA for 27 of its 28 years of existence. This is the fifth time he has directed “Fiddler on the Roof” in that venue. It’s the fourth time he has cast Barth in the role of Tevye. It’s also the fourth time Broberg has performed in a SCERA “Fiddler” cast.

Other cast members include: Delayne Bluth Dayton, Yente; Kurt Elison, Mordcha; Daniel Tomlinson, Motel; Andrew Cook, Perchik; Andrew Olsen, Fyedka; Ed Eyestone, Rabbi; Justin Stockett, Mendel; Patrick R. Wawro, Avrahm; Jordan Sorensen, Nachum; Lynne D. Bronson, Grandma Tzeitel; Sheldon Boone, Fruma-Sarah; Howard Fuller, constable; Noel Thomas, Shaindel; and Alexis Tracy, the fiddler.

Rosemarie Howard lives in a 100-year-old house on Main Street, Springville, Utah. She enjoys creating multimedia projects. Her website is at dramaticdimensions.com.

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