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r2p_fiddlerontheroof4Ithaca, NY - One of the most beloved musicals of all time comes to Ithaca with Running to Places' production of 'Fiddler on the Roof,' Aug. 15-17 in the air-conditioned Kulp Auditorium, 1401 N. Cayuga St., Ithaca.

The cast brings a vibrant energy to the show that never flags. From the famous 'Matchmaker Matchmaker' to the heartbreaking 'Far From the Home I Love,' R2P's company recreates the bustle of a Russian village and the daily struggle to survive using a simple set (designed by Deb Drew) and a lot of enthusiasm.

"When they sing 'L'Chaim, To Life,' you really feel the joy, as well as all the complicated undercurrents," says Jeremy Pletter, music director.

"In Fiddler, everyone has his or her place and everyone matters: it's the musical version of 'it takes a village,'" says Joey Steinhagen, R2P's artistic director. But it's also the story of the forces that drive people apart.

Steinhagen describes Tevye (Malama Sokoni) as a kind of King Lear, a father confronted with impossible choices and a world coming to pieces around him. He chose Sokoni as R2P's Tevye because, he says, "the sound of his voice and his gravitas brings a compelling depth and maturity to the role."

Tevye must cope with his daughters Tzeitel (Sarah Skrovan), Hodel (Maddie Vandenberg), and Chava (Cali Newman) bucking his authority and community tradition as they demand to choose their own husbands from among Motel (Noah Elman), Perchik (Brendan Coyle), Fedyka (Erik McSwain), and Lazer Wolf (Matthew Skrovan). Tevye's superstitious wife, Golde (Ellen Shockey) is committed to the matchmaker (Abby Swartout) until her heart--and Fruma-Sarah (Lisa Podulka)—change her mind. But how far can a family, and a community, bend before political forces and anti-Semitism snap it in two?

Steinhagen chose Fiddler for R2P because it's one of the best-written pieces of theatre literature. It won nine Tony Awards, including best musical, score, book, and direction. "The show spans comedy and pathos without the humor undermining the serious moments," says Steinhagen.

There's also a local connection to the play through Adam Perl, owner of Pastimes Antiques in the DeWitt Mall, member of The Cayuga Vocal Ensemble and the Savage Club of Ithaca, and a generous supporter of R2P. His father, Arnold Perl, was a television writer until he was blacklisted by Senator McCarthy. Unable to work in the entertainment industry, he adapted the Yiddish stories of Sholom Aleichim into an English-language play, "Tevye and His Daughters," on which Fiddler is based.

The dancing in R2P's production—choreographed by New York City professional Steven Moore—brings Broadway to Ithaca, with Moore's distinctive creativity and power. (Audiences will remember his amazing choreography for R2P's "A Christmas Carol.")

Sue DiNapoli, costume designer, says holding the show in air conditioned Kulp Auditorium will make all the difference for the actors, dressed in period garb. "You can't have teens dancing their hearts out in Siberian overcoats under lights in August without air conditioning," she says. (Kulp is also very accessible for disabled patrons.)

Performance Dates: Fri., Aug. 15 at 7:00 pm Sat., Aug. 16 at 7:00 pm Sun., Aug. 17 at 2:00 pm

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