Friday, April 19 at 7:30 p.m. - RUTLAND - The National Broadway
Tour of Fiddler On The Roof will play The Paramount
Theatre in downtown Rutland, Vt. on Friday evening, April 19.
"Without our traditions, our lives would be as shaky as...as
a Fiddler On The Roof," announces Tevye, a humble milkman from
the Russian village of Anatevka. And so begins a tale of love and
laughter, devotion and defiance - and changing traditions.
Fiddler On The Roof, the Tony Award winning musical that has
captured the hearts of people all over the world with its universal
appeal, is currently on its North American tour. In what is a huge
theatrical feat, audiences will have a once in a lifetime
opportunity to see Jerome Robbins' original Broadway direction and
Tevye's wrestling with the new customs of a younger generation
is punctuated by an unforgettable score that weaves the haunting
strains of "Sunrise, Sunset" and the rousing "If I Were A Rich Man"
with the exuberant "Matchmaker, Matchmaker" and triumphant
When his daughters choose suitors who defy his idea of a proper
match, Tevye comes to realize, through a series of incidents that
are at once comic and bittersweet, that his children will begin
traditions of their own. At the story's close, the villagers of
Anatevka are forced to leave their homes and even the sturdy mores
that have guided everyday life begin to crumble. Paradoxically, it
is the enforced loss of the rigid traditions and home life that
Tevye has tried so tenaciously to preserve that leads the family to
reconcile and draw closer still.
A perennial hit since it first opened in 1964, Fiddler On
The Roof has enjoyed critical acclaim for bringing to the
stage a poignant story about the enduring bonds of the family. Now,
the national touring production of this timeless musical brings the
wit and wisdom of Tevye and his family to audiences throughout
Tickets range from $44.50 - $54.50 + tax and, at the time of
publication, were still available at The Paramount Theatre Box
Office, 30 Center Street, Rutland, by calling 802-775-0903 or by
SYNOPSIS OF FIDDLER ON THE ROOF
The place is Anatevka, a village in Tsarist Russia. The time is
1905, the eve of the revolution. The musical opens with the
haunting strains of a fiddler perched precariously on a roof.
Despite the danger of slipping off the roof, the fiddler merrily
Tevye, a humble milkman, shuffles forth to explain that the
villages, too, live precariously. "You may ask, how do we keep our
balance? That I can tell you in one word… tradition." Introducing
his wife and five daughters, the matchmaker Yente, the butcher,
Lazar Wolf, the Rabbi, and all of the close-knit townspeople, Tevye
explains that it is the longstanding traditions of their village,
culture, and religion that steady and guide the people of
Tevye's three eldest daughters, knowing they have no dowries,
consider their fates in "Matchmaker, Matchmaker." Unbeknownst to
her father, Tevye's eldest daughter, Tzeitel, has fallen in love
with the poor tailor of the village, Motel Kamzoil. Tradition
dictates that these things be arranged and Yente has arranged a
wedding between Tzeitel and Lazar Wolf, a rich man old enough to be
After another arduous day during which his horse has gone lame
Tevye pauses briefly to converse with God and to luxuriate in the
daydream, "If I Were A Rich Man." Later, Tevye trudges homeward
with the setting sun to join his family and the entire village in
the "Sabbath Prayer."
On behalf of his daughter, Tevye strikes a bargain with Lazar
Wolf, and in the local barroom, the two lead an exuberant dance "To
Life," to celebrate the upcoming marriage.
The next day Tzeitel pleads with Tevye not to force her to go
through with the wedding. Although bound by tradition to honor his
agreement, kind-hearted Tevye agrees to let Tzeitel marry the man
she loves, the poor tailor, Motel Kamzoil, who rejoices in "Miracle
of Miracles." Knowing that he will have trouble persuading his
shrewish wife to agree to the change in groom, Tevye plays upon
Golde's superstitions and pretends to have a dream in which Golde's
deceased Grandma Tzeitel appears and sanctions "The Tailor, Motel
Kamzoil" as a suitor for Tzeitel.
Wide-eyed and astonished, Golde listens to Tevye's recounting of
his "dream" and, as Tevye had hoped, she immediately interprets the
dream to mean that Tzeitel must break her engagement with Lazar
Wolf and marry Motel instead. Tzeitel and Motel's wedding begins
simply and touchingly with the traditional ceremony, including the
breaking of the wine glass by the couple. In the song "Sunrise,
Sunset," Tevye and Golde share their mutual amazement that their
little girl has grown up so fast as Hodel and Perchik, the young
radicals, begin to notice their own feelings for each other. This
poignant mood is soon replaced by a boisterous dance in which the
men of the village demonstrate their skill at the "Bottle
Once again, traditions crumble when the men and women dance
together in the "Wedding Dance."
Unfortunately, the celebration is marred when the Constable
arrives, flanked by soldiers, to notify the joyful group that he is
required to stage a "little unofficial demonstration." Suddenly and
violently, furniture is broken, wedding gifts are destroyed, and
villagers are injured. Distraught by the turn in events, Tevye can
only turn his face towards heaven to ask God, "Why?"
In the second act of Fiddler on the Roof, the story continues to
follow Tevye's reaction to his daughters' romances and his attempts
to reconcile the changes in traditions that are taking place, not
only in the world, but in his immediate family.
Now that Tzeitel is happily married to the man of her choosing,
Hodel, Tevye's second daughter, defies tradition by telling her
father that she intends to marry Perchik. The couple asks Tevye for
his blessing, rather than his permission. Infuriated, Tevye
believes that, according to tradition, he should have influence
over his daughter's choice of a husband. "On the other hand," he
realizes that the match will bring his daughter happiness, so he
gives them his blessing and his permission.
After Tevye leaves, Perchik rejoices his good fortune, admitting
to Hodel, "Now I Have Everything." Confused by the changes taking
place in his world, Tevye for the first time asks Golde "Do You
Love Me?" Eventually, Hodel's strong love for Perchik compels her
to leave her family and travel "Far from the Home I Love" in order
to be with her beloved in Siberia.
Chava, the third daughter, secretly begins to see a young
Russian gentile, Fyedka. Although Tevye has weathered the
unexpected courtships of Tzeitel and Hodel with dignity, he is
unable to tolerate this further and more radical defiance of
Chava's contemplation of marrying outside of the Jewish faith is
a violation of his religious beliefs, and Tevye vehemently forbids
her to continue the relationship with
Fyedka. When she persists, Tevye, who can bend no farther,
banishes her from the family, refusing to acknowledge Chava as his
By this time, the Tsar has ordered that all Jews evacuate their
homes, and the village reluctantly begins to pack their belongings.
Knowing that she may never see her parents and sisters again, Chava
returns briefly for a final reconciliation, explaining that Fyedka
and she are also moving away from Anatevka because they cannot
remain amongst people who treat others with such callousness.
Although Golde cannot challenge her husband's edict to ignore
Chava's overtures, Tzeitel consoles her younger sister by pulling
away from the family group to embrace Chava. This simple, but
meaningful, gesture signals that Chava is still welcomed by her
family, in spite of her strained relationship with her father. At
first reluctantly, and later willingly, Tevye approaches his
daughter and says, "God be with you." His love for his daughters,
once again overcomes his stubborn belief in tradition.
As the family and villagers depart for their new immigrant
destinations, the fiddler plays his theme once more, and beckoned
by Tevye, leaps to the ground to join Tevye and his family as they
leave Anatevka and travel on to the new world, America.