Stage Right Theatre Company's 'Fiddler' all about family, on, off stage
“Fiddler on the Roof” is one of those musicals that a theatergoer can never experience too many times.
Its longevity, starting as a Broadway show in 1964 and still going strong 50 years later in professional and community theaters, is testament to its universal appeal.
“The thing that makes ‘Fiddler' so special is the story of family, the story of tradition,” says Tony Marino, artistic director at Stage Right Theatre Company, which brings a production of “Fiddler” to The Palace Theatre in Greensburg from Nov. 21 to 23.
Marino says the message of the musical aligns with the mission of the Greensburg-based theater company.
“We try to find shows to do at Stage Right that not only appeal to our audience, but also appeal to what we do here,” he says. “Stage Right is a family of students interacting with our professional actors. That kind of synergy and community is really what Stage Right is about — and is really what ‘Fiddler on the Roof' is about.”
The story of “Fiddler” follows Tevye (Marino), a Jewish milkman in early 1900s Russia, who is trying desperately to hold on to Jewish traditions for his family that includes his wife, Golde (Renata Marino) and their five daughters. But his country is changing, and their oldest daughters are rebelling against the ways of the past.
Alex Noble of Greensburg portrays Motel the tailor, who is in love with Tevye's and Golde's eldest daughter, Tzeitel. The problem — and it's a big one — is that the village matchmaker has arranged for Tzeitel to wed Lazar Wolf, a rich butcher, portrayed by John Noble of Greensburg.
Alex Noble admits he is having fun competing for the same young woman's hand as his real-life father.
“I love doing shows with my dad,” he says. “His character tries to marry the same woman I end up with.”
Alex Noble is one of four Equity actors in the show, along with Tony and Renata Marino and Joe Pedulla as Mordcha the innkeeper. Alex Noble also is serving as a mentor to Emily Stoken of Murrysville, a senior at Franklin Regional High School, and Katy Stewart of Greensburg, a senior at Greensburg-Salem High School, who are alternating the role of Tzeitel.
“He is very helpful,” Stewart says of Alex Noble. “He's a great acting coach, and we feed off his energy.”
Also in the cast are Lena Gabrielle as Frumah Sarah and Dennis Jerz as the Rabbi, along with an ensemble of Stage Right students.
Tony Marino says the familiar score, with music by Jerry Bock and lyrics by Sheldon Harnick — featuring the songs “If I Were a Rich Man,” “Sunrise, Sunset,” “Matchmaker, Matchmaker” and “Far From the Home I Love” — will have audiences smiling when they leave the theater.
Candy Williams is a contributing writer for Trib Total Media.