The Holy Trinity Players just finished a brief run of the classic musical Fiddler on the Roof, and were close to sold out. They’re already planning to remount the show for Edmonton Fringe 2015, so you’ll have a few more chances to see this production if you missed it this weekend. The play was directed by Morgan Kunitz with Darlene Kunitz as musical director.
Fiddler on the Roof, as you probably know, is the story of the poor dairyman Tevye in a small Jewish village in Tsarist Russia at some time period probably just before the revolution. He and his wife Golde (Cindy Gaffney) have five daughters, some of them of marrying age but without dowries, so the parents depend on the matchmaker Yente (Gail Boutilier). However, the younger generation makes their own choices, defying arranged-marriage traditions bit by bit (a love match! worse, a love match with a Communist who gets sent to Siberia! even worse, a love match with a Russian Christian and an elopement to be married by a priest!)
in this production the demanding part of Tevye is played by local lawyer Andrew Hladyshevsky. I was especially impressed by how he made the very familiar material seem fresh and original, with delight and indignation arising equally naturally on his expressive face. There’s a cast of about 30 people, managed smoothly on a moderately-sized stage at the front of the church sanctuary. The sanctuary space provided for effective staging of scenes such as many households chanting the Sabbath blessings and lighting candles along all the aisles, a wedding procession up the centre aisle, a secret Christian wedding at the altar at the far (upstage) end of the sanctuary, and the exile/emigration down the aisle at the end.