Theater Department Revisits ‘Fiddler on the Roof’

Jessica Bourse

As the house lights dim, the silhouette of a violinist is made visible- standing alone among the rooftops, accompanied only by a violin. On Thursday, the GCC Theatre Arts, Dance, and Music departments debuted the classic musical, “Fiddler on the Roof.”

Brilliantly directed by Jeanette Farr and choreographed by Richard Kuller, “Fiddler on the Roof” is nothing short of a timeless masterpiece, brought to life with a remarkable cast and musical direction by Clare Delto.

“Fiddler on the Roof” takes place in Pre-Revolutionary Russia, approximately 1905, at a time when the pogroms, violence and persecution against the Jewish people were escalating.

The story focuses on a father, Tevye (Kevin Blackley), and his family who live in the little village of Anatevka. Tevye and his wife, Golde (Beatrice Casini), are fine examples of hardworking people, who not only struggle to make a living, but also to keep their family together. Their busy lives revolve around three things: raising their five daughters, running a dairy farm, and tradition.

Based on a collection of Yiddish stories by Russian author, Sholem Aleichem, “Fiddler on the Roof” was adapted by Joseph Stein in 1964, with lyrics by Sheldon Harnick and music by Jerry Bock.

Although 44 years have passed since its first opening on Broadway, the themes in “Fiddler on the Roof” remain relevant to the present-day: the strength of family, love, and community; and the importance of keeping tradition while accepting social and political change.

Themes alone are not what make a great musical. The cast members in “Fiddler on the Roof” are truly gifted. To call them simple actors and actresses would be unjust. They go beyond acting; diving deep into other fine arts such as singing and dancing- with passion. Memorable musical numbers such as “Tradition,” “Matchmaker,” “The Dream,” “Sunrise, Sunset” and “Anatevka” are reminders of the talent GCC has to offer.

“Fiddler on the Roof” is a must-see, and a must-see-it-now. The remaining performances are on Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. The final matinees will be playing on Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m.

Tickets are priced at $15 for general
admission, $12 for students and seniors, and $8 for groups of 10 or more and children under the age of 12. Tickets may be purchased at the door. For additional information or to reserve tickets, contact Nancy Greene at (818) 240-1000, ext. 5618.