"Fiddler on the Roof" Explores Faith, Tradition and Change at MCCC's Kelsey Theatre Feb. 26- Mar. 7


West Windsor, N.J. - Old world traditions run headlong into changing values and political turmoil in Czarist Russian when Playful Theatre Productions presents "Fiddler on the Roof" at Mercer County Community College's Kelsey Theatre. One of Broadway's longest-running hits, dates and times for "Fiddler" are: Fridays, Feb. 26 and Mar. 5 at 8 p.m.; Saturdays, Feb. 27 and Mar. 6 at 2 and 8 p.m.; and Sundays, Feb. 28 and Mar. 7 at 2 p.m. Kelsey Theatre is located on the college's West Windsor campus, 1200 Old Trenton Road. A reception with the cast and crew follows the opening night performance on Feb. 26.

It's 1905 in the village of Anatevka. Tevye, a poor milkman, and his wife, Golde, are struggling to stay true to their Jewish traditions as they raise five daughters, not all of whom are happy with the village's meddling matchmaker. Family drama is set against the backdrop of world events, with the ruling Russian government's anti-Semitism threatening to drive Tevye and his family from their home.

This moving saga is embellished with a powerful musical score, including such treasured songs as "Tradition," "Sunrise, Sunset," "Matchmaker," and "To Life." First performed on Broadway in 1964, the show won nine Tony Awards, including Best Musical and Best Musical Score and ran for a record-setting 3,242 performances. It was made into an Academy Award-winning film in 1971. Revivals by professional and community companies, and school groups nationwide have made "Fiddler" one of the most popular stage musicals of all time.

Starring in "Fiddler on the Roof" are: Tom Bessellieu as Tevye, Elizabeth Martinetti as Golde, Kate Franklin as Shprintze, Rachael Haber as Chava, Ashley Hencken as Tzeitel, Marissa Marciano as Bielke, and Theresa Schwickert as Hodel. Also appearing are Steven Auzuini as Motel, Sharon Underberg as Shaindel, Bonnie Cusack as Yente, Kaitlynn Ely as Fiddler, Fred Gropper as Mordcha, Marc Flicker as Nachum the Beggar, Ellen LaCorte as Grandma Tzeitel, Thomas Randby as Perchick, Joe Rodriguez as Lazar Wolf, Jaimie McMillin as Frumah Sarah, Brendan Stackhouse as Fyedka, Jeff Scharf as the Rabbi, Dan Slothower as Constable, Joe Smith as the Priest, and Ken McCormick as Avrahm the Bookseller. Also featured are Jeb Barkenbush and Mia Barkenbush, Judy Berwick, Glen Bortolus, MaryRose Brendel, Heather Dixon, Justin Drach, Sophie Freedman, LeaRae Frenock, Alana Greener, Tina Henderson, Michael Kerr, Suzanne Lawrence, William Mercado, Jack Petzko, Donna Reed, Jeffrey Rosenthal and Heather Santos.

Tevye and family: back row from left, Kate Franklin, Rachael Haber, Elizabeth Martinetti, Tom Bessellieu, Ashley
Hencken, Theresa Schwickert, and Marissa Marciano, front.

Kaitlynn Ely as the Fiddler
Tzeitel (Ashley Hencken) loves Motel the Tailor (Steven Anzuini), despite the plans of the matchmaker.
Chava (Rachael Haber) tests the limits of her
parents' love when she falls for the Russian,
Fyedka (Brian Stackhouse).

The production staff includes producer Suzanne Smith, director Paula Barson, musical director David Raunick, choreographer Dani Tucci-Jurago, conductor James Capes, costume designer Kate Pinner, lighting and set designer Judi Parrish and master builder John Russell.

Tickets are $16 for adults, $14 for seniors, and $12 for students and children. Free parking is available next to the theater. Tickets may be purchased online or by calling the Kelsey Box Office at 609-570-3333. Kelsey Theatre is wheelchair accessible. For a complete listing of adult and children's events for the season, visit the Kelsey website or call the box office for a brochure.

For more on events at Kelsey Theatre visit:

Kelsey Season 2009-2010
Ticket Information
Audition Information
Tomato Patch Visual and Performing Arts Workshops


Directions to MCCC

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