note: entire contents copyright 2015 by Sue Neder
Janice MacDonald’s Studio Theatre Company, and Showbiz Kidz’ Spring ’15 show is Fiddler On The Roof. The timeless, and wonderfully entertaining story of Tevye, the poor dairyman, his wife Golde, their five daughters, and the tribulations of life in Anatevka on the eve of the Russian revolution. Filled with such well known and well-loved numbers as Sunrise, Sunset, Do You Love Me, Tradition, and If I Were A Rich Man; Fiddler is perhaps one of the few classics which transcends time and generations.
Produced by MacDonald, and under the direction of Roger Machado-Fournier, StuthCo has succeeded in creating a show which can only be characterized as a joy for all the senses. From the absolutely beautiful vocals, to the fabulous choreography, to the set and costumes, to the breathtaking lighting – it is a delicious feast for your eyes and ears, and one not to be missed.
At the helm of the cast, and setting the tone and pace of the entire show is John Silveira playing the lead role of Tevye. Silveira was born to play this role! Reminiscent of Topol, while still making this iconic character his own, John commands the stage from the moment he first enters, until his final poignant exit. Comical at times, tender at others, and always perfect in his delivery of both lyrics and lines, Silveira really does deliver every single moment to the max, and brings the house down with his rendition of If I Were A Rich Man.
Reprising the role of Golde, Cathy Taitz does a fantastic job playing Tevye’s wife. With the finesse of a seasoned actor, Cathy deftly delivers her quips and one-liners with great timing. Her lovely voice adds the perfect touch and sound to the stirring Sunrise, Sunset, and Do You Love Me.
Playing the roles of Tzeitel, Hodel, and Chava are the vocal powerhouses Sarah DeMoranville, Shandy Monte-Raposa, and Kenzie Moore opposite their love interests Motel, Perchik, and Fyedka who are played by Jason Trenholm, Joey Raposa, and Robert Gracia. All three daughters do a fantastic job with Matchmaker, Matchmaker featuring each one of them in turn. Trenholm sings Miracle of Miracle with a sincerity that is palpable. Shandy’s rich and beautiful voice is perfectly featured in Far From The Home I Love, while her real-life husband Joey delivers his solo, Now I Have Everything with equal perfection. (And oh by the way, youngest daughter Bielka is played by the Raposa’s adorable little girl Rayne.)
Janet Maynard plays the role of Yente, the busy-body matchmaker, with clever comedic timing and excellent delivery, and she is often rewarded for it by enthusiastic audience laughter. It’s very obvious that Janet enjoys playing the role, because she brings it to bigger than life each time she is on the stage.
Lazar Wolfe, the butcher who is matched to marry Tzeitel, only to lose her to her true love, Motel is played by Wes Sahlin. Sahlin portrays the butcher with believable gusto, and shows us his rich vocal chops in To Life. Side by side with Silveira, Wes commands the stage throughout the tavern scene, and again later on at the wedding reception.
Katie Pak delivers the goods with her portrayal of Fruma Sarah, the butcher’s dead wife. In the dream scene, she threatens to throttle Tevye if his daughter marries her husband. Katie plays this scene to the hilt, and the audience loves it.
Cathie Noversa, who plays several roles in the show, deserves special mention for her hilarious portrayal of Grandma Tzeitel.
Co choreographed by Janice MacDonald and Stacy Tinkham, there is some complicated and entertaining choreography happening here. Particularly fabulous to behold is The Bottle Dance, done by Jordan Larivee, Katie Pak, Sierra Lavoie, and Andrea Miller. Big props to these four who balanced those bottles the old-fashioned way, and ne’er a bottle fell. Musical direction is by Scott Correia, and he successfully brings the very best out of this talented cast. Assistant Director, Eddie Camara puts the finishing touches on the executive production team, with his special eye for detail, while stage manager Ashlynn Krauzyk keeps the very busy backstage crew on point.
Studio Theatre Company has outdone itself once again with a cast of approximately 50 people singing and dancing their hearts out, on a beautifully dressed and lit stage, wearing accurate costumes. So, if a timeless classic musical like Fiddler On The Roof is something you’d enjoy, then by all means…get yourself to Diman Regional Vocational High School to see this wonderful production. You have two more chances to do so. Saturday at 7pm, and Sunday at 2pm. Go! You’ll be sorry if you don’t! Right? Of course right!