RHS to present Fiddler on the Roof

Rockford High School proudly presents Fiddler on the Roof. The cast of 85 talented students, along with lighting and stage crew, will take you to a small town in the early 1900s, where there is a generational struggle over maintaining family and Jewish traditions during a time of anti-Semitic upheaval in Russia. The whole family will enjoy this show that is filled with humor, laughter, sadness, song, dance and tradition.

The story centers on Tevye, a poor dairyman played by senior Gabe Reitemeier , who tries to maintain the status quo while the world is changing around him. Tevye likens his life to that of a fiddler on a roof, who tries desperately to maintain balance, eke out a living, and not fall off. He clings to the ideal that life can work out in the end regardless of where you live or what you earn as long as you have love.

“Being Tevye means to love big; to love your family, to love God, and to love life,” said Reitemeier about the lead character. “I love Tevye’s unshakable faith in God and his strong convictions in holding on to the Jewish traditions that his people have followed for generations.”

Tevye and his wife, Golde, played by senior Molly Grettenberger, want to keep the matchmaking tradition alive for their daughters, but the three eldest daughters want to choose their own husbands. This is contrary to tradition as is the social uprising that is forcing Jewish families like theirs to leave town. Through the show, Tevye and Golde learn that often the breaking of traditions cannot be stopped.

Grettenberger noted, “Golde experiences a lot of heartbreak. She is forced to say goodbye to many of the traditions, people and familiarities in her life. These farewells are especially poignant for me, because, as a senior, I will soon be saying such goodbyes and experiencing similar transitions in my own life.”

Sophomore Kelli Raymond is cast as the eldest daughter, Tzeitel, who is first to break tradition and not marry the husband chosen by the matchmaker, Yente, played by Carly Funk. Tzeitel makes clear her intent not to marry the prearranged match, the older and wealthy butcher Lazar Wolf, who is played by seasoned actor, senior Brett Wiesenauer. After courage is mustered by her intended and creative argument is put forth by Tevye, Tzeitel is allowed to marry her love and childhood friend, Motel, who is but a poor tailor, played by senior Scott Nadeau.

Fiddler on the Roof is Nadeau’s third high school musical and he explained, “My personality is almost the exact opposite of Motel’s. He is very shy and timid while I am outgoing and confident. Playing Motel is a very fun challenge.”

David Duiven, director of Rockford choirs and Fiddler on the Roof, is thrilled with the work of the cast and crew. “We started back in November with auditions,” reflected Duiven. “It takes a team of people to pull off a show like this. The commitment from each person from the lead characters to ensemble to the lighting and stage crew, has been incredible. And the time devoted and talent demonstrated by our parent volunteers is unmatched. You’ll see what I mean on opening night.”

Make it your tradition to see Rockford’s musical each spring. Show dates are March 17-18 and March 24-26 at 7 p.m. plus a matinee on March 20 at 3 p.m. On sale now, tickets are $10 each, payable by cash or check, at the Rockford High School Box Office, 4100 Kroes Road, weekdays from 10 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. You may also purchase tickets online for $11 each by visiting www.rockfordchoiers.com, where you will find a link. Please contact the Rockford High School Box Office at (616) 863-6031 extension 7087 with questions.

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