Beloved for its warmth and good-natured honesty, “Fiddler on the Roof” opens today in Pullman.The classic Broadway musical focuses on Tevye, a poor Jewish milkman in pre-revolutionary Russia, who struggles with upholding his traditions in a changing world. Not only do his three older daughters wish to marry for love, which threatens to move them away from his faith customs, but his way of life is further challenged by an edict from the Tsar that evicts the Jews from their village. Life in the village is as risky as a fiddler on the roof and through these challenges, the characters explore family loyalty, self-determination and love.
“It’s the perfect balance of humor, heart and authenticity,” said Michael Todd, director.
Besides its adored characters and favorite songs like “Sunrise, Sunset,” “Matchmaker, Matchmaker,” and “If I Were a Rich Man,” the production contains number of authentic details. The fiddler is played by a violin player, which enhances the musical scenes. Golda is played by two actresses, a main actress and an understudy, who both have a Ukrainian heritage and accents. The production gives attention to both culture and symbolism.
“There’s really precious detail and a reverence involved that’s inspiring,” said Todd.
Besides providing heart-warming entertainment, the show picks up thought provoking themes as well.
“It’s a timeless story but it’s also timely as most people struggle with upholding their individual values in a changing world,” said Todd.
While the show is set in a specific time and culture, audiences may be able to identify with “things not being the same,” Todd said. In addition, the story addresses the reality of discrimination and offers the ever-relevant reminder to come together rather than let our differences separate us.
IF YOU GO
WHAT: “Fiddler on the Roof”
WHEN: 7:30 p.m. today, Friday, Saturday, and April 11-14, 1:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, and April 14-15
WHERE: Regional Theatre of the Palouse, 122 N. Grand Ave., Pullman
COST: $14.99-19.99; tickets available at the box office at (509) 334-0750 and online at rtoptheatre.org