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Beloved 'Fiddler' comes to Van Wert on Saturday

Fiddler-in-Van-Wert

A Maryland-based touring company will present 'Fiddler On The Roof' at 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday at Niswonger performing Arts Center of Northwest Ohio, Van Wert. Tickets range from $29 to $46.

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VAN WERT -- Tevye struggles to hold on to tradition in Fiddler on the Roof presented Saturday at Niswonger Performing Arts Center of Northwest Ohio in Van Wert.

The Joseph Stein musical is based on the stories of Sholom Aleichem and tells the story of Tevye and his daughters. Tevye wrestles with the choices of his strong-willed daughters, fights to keep his heritage alive, and copes with being evicted from his village.

Fiddler opened on Broadway in 1964 and won nine 1965 Tony Awards. It won a special Tony in 1972 for becoming the longest-running musical of its time and closed after 3,242 performances. The classic musical was welcomed back on Broadway for four revivals.

The Van Wert production is being presented by the Maryland-based Matchmaker Touring LLC. John Preece, of Springfield, Ill., plays Tevye. This is his 10th national tour in this role. It is directed by Tony-nominated director Sammy Dallas Bayes.

The well-loved score includes "If I were a Rich Man," "Sunrise, Sunset," "Tradition," and "Matchmaker, Matchmaker."

"Fiddler on the Roof" performances are at 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday at Niswonger Performing Arts Center of Northwest Ohio, Van Wert, 10700 State Rt. 118 S., Van Wert. Ticket prices range from $29 to $46. Information: 419-238-6722 or www.npacvw.org.

King's Dream

Students will hear unforgettable words spoken by a dominant force in the Civil Rights movement Monday when I Have a Dream comes to the Franciscan Center in Sylvania.

"When Martin Luther King, Jr., started speaking that speech on the Mall in D.C., he had note cards and then he put them down and he said 'I have a dream.' That part of his speech, we all remember, was extemporaneous. You need to find out what events in this person's life got him to make this speech at this time," said Eric Williams, director of tour operations for Theatre IV, which is bringing the show to Sylvania as part of the Franciscan Center's Theater Vision season.

The 50-minute dramatization introduces audiences to influential people and events in the life of King that shaped the man who inspired many, including Michael Brown, the actor portraying him.

"I've always admired Martin Luther King, Jr., for his intelligence and actions," Brown said. "To a lot of kids it can very easily be just a story in a history book... They've always seen integration, and they haven't seen the hostility."

When Williams left his predominantly African-American school in Jackson, Tenn., to attend a predominantly white private school in Nashville, he "understood early on that being with different people changes your perspective. It gives you a more global perspective." He also remembers his mother telling him what it was like to be seated in a segregated movie theater.

The actors will hold a question-and-answer session after the production. Each is well-versed on the historical characters.

"I Have a Dream" will be performed at 10 a.m. Monday in the Franciscan Center at Lourdes University, 6832 Convent Blvd., Sylvania. The production also is open to the public. Tickets are $8. Information: 419-824-3986 or franciscancenter.org.

Civil War

TIFFIN -- An escaped slave and a Confederate soldier have a chance meeting Wednesday when Four Score and Seven Years Ago comes to the Ritz Theatre in Tiffin.

This educational production for grades four through eight is set in Gettysburg, Pa.

The men of different races and opposing sides learn much from each other about bravery and loyalty in this suspenseful one-act musical that is part of the Ritz's Discovery Series. The values-based performance commemorates the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.

"Four Score and Seven Years Ago" will be presented at 10 a.m. Wednesday in the Ritz Theatre, 30 S. Washington St., Tiffin. Tickets are $4. Information: 419-448-8544 or ritztheatre.org.

Please submit theater items at least two weeks before the event to jnjaim@theblade.com.

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