'Fiddler on the Roof' to play to sold-out house at River Campus

Wednesday, October 20, 2010
A touring production of the famous musical "Fiddler on the Roof" will play the River Campus Wednesday. (submitted photo)

One of the most loved and successful musicals in history will play before a sold-out crowd at the Southeast Missouri State University River Campus Wednesday evening.

"Fiddler on the Roof," featuring classic songs such as "If I Were a Rich Man," "Matchmaker" and "Sunrise, Sunset," will be performed at 7:30 p.m. today at Bedell Performance Hall. The show's music was composed by Jerry Bock, with lyrics by Sheldon Harnick.

River Campus assistant director Bob Cerchio said the show is sold out. People on the waiting list will be contacted if any tickets held for the touring company or season ticket holders are returned.

Musicals such as "Fiddler on the Roof" have traditionally been popular with local theater patrons, according to Cerchio, who said they "usually are a sellout or near-sellout."

"Fiddler on the Roof" is the story of Tevye, a poor Jewish milkman raising five daughters in Imperial Russia shortly after the turn of the 20th century. The story takes place amid changing social and political conditions that threaten the traditions and customs he has tried to instill in his family.

Opening on Broadway in 1964, "Fiddler on the Roof" was both a critical and commercial hit. The musical won nine of the 10 Tony Awards it was nominated for in 1965, including best musical. Bock and Harnick were winners for best composer/lyricist, and Zero Mostel was honored as best leading actor in a


The original run of "Fiddler on the Roof" played 3,242 performances and earned a special Tony Award in 1972 for becoming what was at the time the longest-running Broadway musical in history. The play has refused to die, with revivals on Broadway in 1976, 1981, 1990 and 2004, along with several successful productions on London's West End theater


Wednesday's performance is a production of Troika Entertainment and will be directed by Sammy Dallas Bayes, who also choreographed the show. Bayes choreographed the 1990 Broadway revival, reproducing the original choreography of Jerome Robbins.

Today's audience will see stage veteran John Preece play Tevye, a role made famous by Mostel on Broadway and by Chaim Topol in London and the 1971 film version. Preece has played Tevye more than 3,000 times as a part of nine national tours.

Cape Girardeau is the eighth of 81 stops that the Troika production of "Fiddler on the Roof" will make during a tour that began Oct. 6 and will end in


Pertinent address: 518 S. Fountain St., Cape Girardeau, MO

Map of pertinent addresses

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