PHOTO EXCLUSIVE: A Day in Anatevka! Behind the Scenes at Arena Stage's In-the-Round Fiddler With Maria Rizzo
Helmed by Arena Stage artistic director Molly Smith, the musical, which features a book by Joseph Stein, music by Jerry Bock and lyrics by Sheldon Harnick and is based on Sholem Aleichem stories, will continue through Jan. 11, 2015, on the Fichandler Stage.
The cast features Ann Arvia (Mary Poppins, Les Miserables) as Golde and Tony Award nominee Jonathan Hadary (Golden Boy, Spamalot) as Tevye. Their five daughters are played by Dorea Schmidt (The Love of the Nightingale) as Tzeitel, Hannah Corneau (Harmony) as Hodel, Maria Rizzo (Gypsy) as Chava, Shayna Blass (Yentl) as Shprintze and Maya Brettell (Beaches) as Bielke. Portraying the suitors of the eldest daughters are Joshua Morgan (The Piano Teacher) as Motel, the tailor; Michael Vitaly Sazonov (The Light in the Piazza) as Perchik, the scholar; and Kurt Boehm (My Fair Lady) as Fyedka, the Russian soldier. The company also features Erick Devine (Ragtime) as Lazar Wolf and Valerie Leonard (Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner) as Yente/Grandma Tzeitel.
The company also includes Alex Alferov as the Fiddler, Scott Harrison as Mendel, Joe Mallon as Nachum, Jimmy Mavrikes as Yussel, Tracy Lynn Olivera as Fruma-Sarah, Joe Peck as Rabbi, Barbara Pinolini as Shandel, Kyle Schliefer as Sasha, Thomas Adrian Simpson as Mordcha, Chris Sizemore as Constable, Jamie Smithson as Avram and ensemble members Trevor Illingworth, Rob Montgomery, Farrell Parker and Curtis Schroeger with swings Eric Greengold and Jesse Palmer.
Here's how the production is billed: "The theatrical masterpiece, which garnered nine Tony Awards for its 1964 debut, weaves together a portrait of family, community and life’s unexpected miracles, large and small, and showcases a jubilant and beloved score, including 'If I Were a Rich Man,' 'Sunrise, Sunset,' 'Matchmaker, Matchmaker' and 'Tradition.'"
"I am heartened by stories coming to me from audience members about the impact of Fiddler on the Roof on their families," Smith said in a previous statement. "Challenging traditions is a concept that resonates deeply today — and adapting to new ones as well. This company of artists is an ideal one to interpret Fiddler for this moment in time. All eras have changes in tradition, although it is easy to feel our modern era is changing more rapidly than ever before. We are all fiddlers on the roof — balancing, changing, adapting. I’m excited to share this gold-standard American musical with a new generation. I know it will resonate as powerfully with them as it did when it was first produced 50 years ago."
The creative team includes set designer Todd Rosenthal, costume designer Paul Tazewell, lighting designer Colin K. Bills and sound designer Lindsay Jones. Musical director Paul Sportelli leads a 10-piece orchestra. The musical features choreography by Arena favorite Parker Esse, who adapted the original Jerome Robbins choreography for an in-the-round staging.
Visit arenastage.org for more information.