Final Touches set for ‘Fiddler on the Roof

The Eagle —Worrall Newspapers
Thursday— March 23, 2000

[News Article - Fiddler on the Roof] The final touches are being put on Cranford Repertory Theater's production of “Fiddler on the Roof.” The cast is bringing life to the familiar songs of “If I Were a Rich Man,” “Tradition,” “Sunrise, Sunset,” “Do You Love Me?” and many others.

“Fiddler on the Roof” is noted for its spectacular production numbers which include “To Life,”the wedding scene highlighted by “The Bottle Dance” and the dream sequence. All promise to make this production of “Fiddler on the Roof” an experience the whole family will enjoy.

Among the cast are several members of the same family. Eddie Egan, as Perchik, is performing for the first time with his father, Edward Egan, as Constable; Susan Eisenberg as Shendel, is performing with her daughter, Jen, chorus; Marc Chandler, as Lazar Wolf, is performing with his daughter, Corrine, as Bielke, Molly Collier as Bielke is performing with her brother, Peter, chorus; all are from Cranford. Chris Mazzarella, chorus, from Carteret, is performing with his brother, John, chorus.

“Fiddler on the Roof” is directed by Tom Pedas, and the choreographer is Cindy Smith. The sets used in this production were designed by Tony Smith and built by the Cranford Repertory Theater production staff with volunteer support from the synagogue and the families of cast members. These sets are available for sale. Costumes were created by Terri Rodd.

Pedas is well known and respected as the director of The Celebration Singers and as a director of numerous theater productions. He has put together a fine, experienced cast of about 50 performers ranging in ages from 7 to 70 years old. Other cast members not already mentioned are Charles Rossler as Tevye of Westfield, Jeanne Woerner as Golde of Piscataway, Mary Webb as Yenta of Cranford, Nicole Caprio as Tzeital of Cranford, Kerin Eyler as Chava of Edison, Molly Frieri as Hodel of Cranford, Daniel Kazemi as Motel of Springfield, Jordan Levy as Fredka of Springfield, Jerry Kamen as Avram of Mountainside, Sandy Levine as Mordcha of Elizabeth, Skip Shupp as the Rabbi of Cranford, Lea Davidson, as the Rabbitzen of Roselle Park, Tim Watson as Mendal of Clark, Tara Deieso as Shprintze of Westfield and Katelyn Sinosa as Shprintze of Bayonne.

“Fiddler on the Roof,” based on the short story, “Tevye and His Daughters,” by Shalom Aleichem, deals with the serious issues of persecution, poverty and the struggle to hold on to one's beliefs in the midst of a hostile and chaotic environment. First critized for its limited appeal, “Fiddler on the Roof” has become the eighth longest running Broadway musical.

The setting for this musical is Anatevka, a small peasant town in Czarist Russia. Tevye, a dairyman, his wife, Golde, and their five daughters, are one of the hard-working families of the Jewish community living as their forefathers did, observing the ways handed down to them, following the dictates of “tradition.” Tevye is one of the most glowing creations in musical theater. Tevye, a pious man, tries to raise his five daughters according to the ways of the Good Book. However, the old ways are no longer adequate and Tevye and his friends become part of the changing world. After a pogrom, the community realizes that its old way of life has changed forever. Ultimately, the villagers are forced out of their homes and set out to find new lives in new lands, taking with them their meager possissions and their abiding faith in God.

Performances for “Fiddler on the Roof” will be held at Cranford High School on April 1 and 8 at 8:00p.m. and 8:25p.m., respectively, and April 2 and 9 at 2 p.m. … All performances include an outreach benefiting the Interfaith Council for the Homeless of Union County. This production is sponsored by Temple Beth-El Mekor Chayim of Cranford. For more information call (908) 276-9231 or (908) 276-5053

Tom Pedas, The Celebration Singers and Children's Chorus


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