Featured News - Current News - Archived News - News Categories

'Fiddler on the Roof' opens at Ellicott Creek Playhouse

by jmaloni
Fri, Sep 23rd 2011 06:00 pm

by Larry Austin

Paul Bene will mark the fourth production in which he has appeared as "Tevye" for the Niagara Regional Theatre Guild when the musical "Fiddler on the Roof" opens Friday.

It's only natural that in his fourth turn as Tevye Bene identifies with his character, who tries to live his life and raise his independent-minded daughters in Czarist Russia according to the old Jewish traditions. As one by one his daughters fall in love, he finds himself and his traditions tested.

As soon as Tevye's bravado is challenged, especially by his wife, he crumbles, Bene said. "With his daughters, too, he tries to be the big strong man, but when they say, 'Please, Papa,' and they cry, he melts."

Tevye "represents a guy who is trying to maintain his lifestyle and his culture in the face of changing times," Bene said. "And he does so with a struggle and with much inner turmoil, but he comes to realize that it's time for the old ways to go and for him to adapt to the new ways. The whole show is really about change, adapting from what we knew to what's new and modern."

With each performance as Tevye in the Broadway classic, Bene mines at a greater depth to find golden deposits of nuance.

"Every time I've done it, I always try to look for moments that I'd never noticed before, or maybe a better way of saying it is to dig a little bit deeper into Tevye's psyche," Bene said. "He's a wonderful man with a warm heart. He's got a bluster, but he's a genuinely warm man."

"I have children and grandchildren. I know how he feels."

"I think this is the most heartwarming musical that's ever been written," Bene added. "You'd have to be made of stone not to feel warmly about this show."

Grand Island's Dawn Marcolini Newton directs and choreographs the production. Five other Islanders are in the cast, several of them veterans of the NRTG stage. Community theater is more than an avocation for Bene. It satisfies a performing jones.

"It's something I have to do. It's not a choice," Bene said of acting. "It's addictive. Getting up on stage and doing the best you can and having people appreciate it and applauding at the end is just one of the most wonderful feelings you can have."

Steve Olszewski of Grand Island, standing, plays "Reb Mortcha" during the wedding reception of "Motel" (Dan Zerpa) and "Tzeitel" (Carolyn Quigley) in the Niagara Regional Theatre Guild's production of "Fiddler on the Roof."

"Fiddler on the Roof"

•Date: Fridays, Sept. 23, 30, and Oct. 7; Saturdays, Sept. 24, Oct. 1 and 8; Sunday matinee, Oct. 2

•Show time: 7:30 p.m. (except the Sunday, Oct. 2, matinee at 3 p.m.)

•Where: the Ellicott Creek Playhouse, 530 Ellicott Creek Road, Tonawanda

•Tickets: At the box office, or call 284-6358.

Credits

A production of the Niagara Regional Theatre Guild, directed and choreographed by Dawn Marcolini Newton, with musical direction by Sandy Ackerman.

Cast

Paul Bene .............................................  Tevye

Dianna Kolek .........................................  Golde

Carolyn Quigley ...................................  Tzeitel

Kathryn Ratka ........................................  Hodel

Cassandra Grizanti ................................................  Chava

Emily Sinclair ....................................  Sprintze

Sophia Sorrentino ............................................  Bielke

Dan Zerpa .............................................  Motel

Scott Mackmin ....................................  Perchik

Colin Reboy .........................................  Fiedka

Diane Serra .....................  Yente, the matchmaker

Dan Morris ....................  Lazar Wolf, the butcher

Steve Olszewski ...........................  Reb Mortcha

Pat Petersen ................................  Grama Tzeitel

Andrea Letcher ..............................  Fruma Sarah

Joe Martino .....................................  Constable

Cassondra Conrad ......................................................  the Fiddler

Bob Brady .............................................  Sasha

Rich LaBend .......................................  Abravm

Tom Romans ..................................  Mendeland

Ensemble .................................. Dan Olszewski, Kim Asbach, Grace Kulikowski, Travis LeFevre, Laura Hayden, Rebecca Runge, Alyssa Eddo, Derek Eddo, Jillian Sternberg, Haile Gault, Gina Zito, Jessica Anderson, Sheila Anderson, Alexxis Butera, Kristen Rockwell, Bianca Billoni and Julie Patel.

comments powered by Disqus

Advertise With Us

Subscribe Today

 

 




Powered by Fission Content Management System | Niagara Falls Web Design by 360PSG