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‘Fiddler on the Roof’: RHS musical opens Thursday for three-night run
Riverton High School's production of "Fiddler on the Roof" opens Friday at the Robert A. Peck Arts Center Theatre in Riverton. Above Jace Flanagan as Tevye, left, with Dallin Cooper as Motel and Jaden Brummond as Tzeitel. Photos by Robert H. Peck

Fiddler on the Roof: RHS musical opens Thursday

May 23, 2012 - By Robert H. Peck, Staff Writer

Members of the Riverton High School Drama Club their spring musical, "Fiddler on the Roof," at the Robert A. Peck Arts Center Theatre on Friday, May 25, Saturday, May 26, and Tuesday, May 29.

Curtain time is 7:30 p.m. each night. Tickets are $5 for adults, $3 for students and children, available at the door.

"Fiddler," first produced in 1964 at Broadway's Imperial Theatre, follows the life of Tevye, a poor milkman living in the Russian shtetl of Anatevka in 1905.

Anatevka's Jewish citizens, Tevye included, live under the constant threat of violence and eviction at the hands of Russian authorities, making their existence as precarious as the eponymous fiddler on a roof.

Over the course of the show, Tevye's family struggles to cope with poverty, and Tevye himself battles with his faith and belief in Jewish tradition as his daughters begin to marry.

Annette Thornton, the show's director, said she chose to produce "Fiddler" this year because the club has enough talented actors to tackle a more rigorous piece. Last year, the troupe performed "Beauty and the Beast," a musical based on the 1991 Disney film of the same name, preceded by "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" in 2010 and "Seussical!" in 2009.

"We have so many talented performers, so we wanted a show that had quite a few leading roles," Thornton said. "We also really liked the themes of the work, and we thought we could handle something that was a little more challenging dramatically."

RHS junior Jace Flannagan, who plays Tevye in the show, said mastering his character has been demanding.

"It's the most challenging role I've had by far," said Flannagan, who has been acting with RHS Drama since his freshman year. "There is a lot of thought required in order to feel the things this man would feel in such a different time and context from our own."

Other lead roles in the production include Tevye's wife, Golde, played by junior Asia Carr; daughters Tzeitel, Chava and Hodel, played by juniors Jaden Brummond and Shannon Linch, and senior Jessica Johnson, respectively; and the three suitorsm Fyedka, Motel and Perchik, played by senior Sam Myers and juniors Dallin Cooper and Sean Thornton, who press Tevye for his daughters' hands in marriage over the course of the show.

The RHS actors have been rehearsing the show since it was cast in April.

"Fiddler" won nine Tony Awards in 1965, including those for best musical, best score and best book. Time magazine reported in 2008 that the show was the seventh-most-popular production choice for high schools and community theater troupes around the country.

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