Long Beach Playhouse Wraps Up Season With Fiddler on the Roof

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Harriet Whitmyer as Golde, Martin Feldman as Tevye Photo by Robert Craig

Harriet Whitmyer as Golde, Martin Feldman as Tevye
Photo by Robert Craig

This year the Long Beach Playhouse closes its 2013-14 season with the classic musical, Fiddler on the Roof. The play is set in 1905 Czarist Russia and tells the story of Tevye, a humble, philosophical dairy farmer and his quest to find suitable mates for his five daughters. Despite his efforts, the daughters are feeling the influences of a world beyond the village. This era, location and story give full rein to the considerable artistic talents of all involved.

“The visual presentation of this production is the foundation for the actors. The set and costumes must work together to carry the audience back in time,” said Andrew Vonderschmitt, Executive and Producing Artistic Director of the LBP. “We are so incredibly fortunate to have Donna Fritsche as our costume manager. She is an incredible artist and she knows exactly how to create a costume that subtly conveys who that character is as a person. With 24 actors playing over 30 characters, she and her cadre of volunteers will be plenty busy. I’ve seen her sketches and without giving anything away, they are awesome.”

Vonderschmitt highlights the “producing” part of his title as the set designer for the production. “The set is the background for this humble family to tell its story and that of its village. The design has to offer several kinds of spaces – there’s the house they live in, the common areas in the village, and of course, the wedding,” said Vonderschmitt.

“Our large stage offers room for characters to move. Seating on three sides means we have to offer interesting views from many perspectives. My goal is to have our patrons walk into the theatre and go ‘Wow!’ That’s the thought that lives in my head 24-hours a day between now and opening night.”

Bring their considerable talents to the mix are a artistic team to be reckoned with. Phillys Gitlin heads up the team as Director. “We are incredibly happy that Phyllis has taken on the task of directing this one,” said Vonderschmitt, “She has the talent, experience and knowledge needed to mount such an ambitious production. Right there, in the trenches with Phyllis are Nathaniel Brown, musical director, and Ellen Prince, choreographer. Between them they bring years and countless shows backing up their experience and talents. One challenge in the Mainstage is to adapt a show like Fiddler to the very deep thrust stage, making sure the music is heard and the dance numbers are played for the benefit of every seat in the house and they are both more than up to the challenge.

Fiddler on the Roof first opened in 1964. The music for is by Jerry Bock, lyrics by Sheldon Harnick, and book by Joseph Stein. It was nominated for ten Tony Awards and won nine. In 1971, it was made into a movie.

Special Events For This Play:

Pay what you can Thursday July 10 – community can see this production for whatever they can afford
Two for One Preview Friday July 11 – Tickets are $12.00
Opening Night Champagne Reception with cast on July 12- Tickets are $27.00

Adults are $24.00, seniors $21.00, and Students $14.00.

Tickets are available at www.lbplayhouse.org, or by calling 562-494-1014, option 1.

Long Beach Playhouse is located at 5021 E. Anaheim St., Long Beach, CA, 90804, right across from the Long Beach Recreation golf course. The Playhouse is community-supported theatre with programs and events that cut across age, gender, ethnic, and cultural boundaries.

Performances are 8 p.m. Friday, and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. The box office is open Wednesday-Saturday from 3:00-8:00 pm and Sundays from 1:00-2:00 pm on scheduled matinees.

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