SUNDANCE — Tickets are selling fast for the classic musical "Fiddler on the Roof" that is set to open July 24 at the Sundance Mountain Resort outdoor amphitheater.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the production’s debut on Broadway in 1964, where it immediately became a hit. The musical played 3,242 shows and is one of the longest-running productions in Broadway history. The 1971 film won a handful of Academy Awards and Golden Globe awards.
James Arrington said he's delighted to be directing the production at Sundance and that the show is coming together wonderfully.
"I view this play as a parable," Arrington said. "I think it's a parable about mankind, a 'Once upon a time there was a man who had five daughters' parable."
The show is based on Sholem Aleichem's book “Tevye and his Daughters,” a story of a poor Russian milkman, his wife and his five daughters who are growing up and making choices that test the family traditions.
Arrington said he enjoys the process of bringing a story and the actors all together into an ensemble. He said he's fortunate to have seasoned and talented actors in the cast, including David Stensrud as Tevye and Marcie Jacobsen as Golde.
"They have worked together before, so they have a relationship kind of like an old married couple," he said. "Then the daughters, they just couldn't have better voices."
Of the matchmaker/busybody Yente, played by Melany Wilkins, Arrington said, "She's like a grandma on steroids."
Arrington said it's going to be a lovely show in a beautiful setting. He's added some color and some humor where he can, and the set is very simple.
Chad Linebaugh, Sundance Mountain Resort general manager, said Sundance is proud to present the beloved musical.
“The moving songs ‘If I Were a Rich Man,’ ‘Matchmaker,’ and ‘Tradition,’ as well as the enduring story makes ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ a play that audiences have loved for years,” Linebaugh said. “The story is both individual and universal, solidifying it as a favorite in the hearts of audiences.”
Sundance partners with Utah Valley University to produce its summer musicals.
“ 'Fiddler on the Roof' has been a Utah Valley favorite for 50 years now, and we are so excited to be bringing it to life again with Sundance,” said Christopher Clark, department chair of Theatrical Arts for Stage and Screen at UVU.
“It's such a beautiful story about the redemptive power of families and love, and it says so much about culture and community,” Clark said. “The music is instantly recognizable, and the story is so inspiring. I think our production will breathe new life into it, and I'm excited for people to see what we're doing with this beloved musical.”
If you go ...
What: "Fiddler on the Roof"
When: July 24-Aug. 16
Where: Outdoor amphitheater at Sundance Mountain Resort, 8841 N. Alpine Loop Road, Sundance
How much: $21-$30
Sharon Haddock is a professional writer with more than 35 years' experience, 17 at the Deseret News. Her personal blog is at sharonhaddock.blogspot.com.