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Theater

'Fiddler on the Roof' message still resounds, especially in Pittsburgh

| Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018, 12:03 a.m.

“Fiddler on the Roof” is one of those classic pieces of musical theater with a message that is still relevant today.

Pittsburgh audiences will be among the first to experience the national touring production of “Fiddler” when it comes to the Benedum Center for eight performances Nov. 20-25 as part of the 2018-19 PNC Broadway in Pittsburgh series, presented by the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust and Broadway Across America.

The production that opened in Philadelphia on Oct. 28 is led by Tony Award-winning director Bartlett Sher and acclaimed Israeli choreographer Hofesh Shechter, bringing their vision to the popular Broadway musical by Tony Award-winner Joseph Stein and Pulitzer Prize-winners Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick.

The original Broadway production of “Fiddler” opened in 1964 and featured choreography by Jerome Robbins.

Jesse Weil of Long Island, N.Y., is among the cast members buckling in for a tour that will visit more than 30 U.S. cities in its first season.

Love and pride

For the Brown University graduate who portrays Motel the tailor in the show, the experience is even more special, as this is his first national tour.

“It’s so exciting,” he says. “I’m already feeling the love and pride in the community we’re building.”

He says the cast was in Philadelphia for performances when they heard about the Oct. 27 shooting in Pittsburgh’s Squirrel Hill neighborhood.

“We were trying to figure out how to best support the victims’ families,” Weil says. “We need to create empathy in the face of those who hate.”

Know before you go

One hour before the Nov. 21 performance, Pittsburgh Cultural Trust will offer its free Know the Show Before You Go event for ticket holders at 6:30 p.m. at the Trust Arts Education Center, 807 Liberty Ave. Those planning to attend must register at trustarts.org.

Candy Williams is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.

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