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Beloved ‘Fiddler’ comes to Valentine Wednesday


Robert Summers II and Jennie Hollander as Tevye and Golde in 'Fiddler on the Roof,’ which comes to Toledo next week. The original Broadway production opened in September, 1964, and closed in July, 1972, after 3,242 performances.


The national tour of Fiddler on the Roof coming to the Valentine Theatre Wednesday for a one-night, sold-out show is being welcomed throughout the nation.

Most houses have been sold out for this show that opened Oct. 19, 2012, in Arkansas. It will be seen in more than 52 cities before closing April 21 in Massachusetts, said choreographer Lauren Sobon. It sparked four revivals and the 1971 film adaptation.

“It’s one of people’s favorite musicals of all time... It transcends time and generations. The score is packed with beautiful songs,” Sobon said in a recent phone interview from Pennsylvania.

The original Broadway production opened in September, 1964, and closed in July, 1972, after 3,242 performances. It won two 1965 Tony Awards for Best Actor (Zero Mostel) and Best Featured Actress (Maria Karnilova). There have been several revivals and the name itself evokes scene images and starts a mental playlist of unforgettable songs including “If I Were a Rich Man,” “Sunrise, Sunset,” and “To Life.”

It also draws theatergoers, said Dean Sobon, Lauren’s husband and the show’s director.

Years ago the Sobons performed in the show together, Lauren said. “Being able to have the opportunity to approach the material as director and choreographer — we’ve definitely come full circle with the material. I just feel we’ve been able to bring a different perspective to the creative process,” Lauren said.

That perspective is evident on stage, Dean said. “We’re getting wonderful feedback. We’ve worked a lot with bringing heart and family into this production and it comes across when they’re on stage. You feel the heart.”

Each night it’s like the actors are telling the story for the first time, Dean said. 

“They’re wonderful about approaching the show each time they do it as fresh. They really take the time to build those relationships every single night and I think that carries over to the audience.”

“Fiddler on the Roof” closes the Valentine Theatre’s 2012-2013 Broadway season at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday. The show is sold out.

Rep Roster

The Toledo Repertoire Theatre recently released its 2013-2014 season that runs the gamut from satirical to serious.

“We’re listening to our audience, that’s the crux of it. Two seasons ago I ran a survey in our program; our number one response was anything related to Shakespeare which is why we started with Hamlet [that opened the 2012-2013 season]. After anything related to Shakespeare, the top one was Arsenic and Old Lace and one vote behind that was Noises Off... They want the escapism that evening and they want to come to something that makes them feel good," said Steve Burnette, Rep artistic director.

Forbidden Broadway’s Greatest Hits, a satirical Broadway revue, opens the 81st season Sept. 13-22. Talk Radio, an Edgy Rep Reading about a shock jock whose show is going nationwide, will be read Oct. 12. Arsenic and Old Lace, a farce about a critic and how he deals with his homicidal family, runs Nov. 8-17. A Christmas Carol makes its 27th appearance Dec. 6-8 at the Valentine Theatre.

Noises Off, a comedy about what happens behind the scenes of a play, runs Jan. 17-26, 2014. Love Letters, a drama of a man and a woman and their lifelong correspondence, will be performed Feb. 14-16, 2014. The Glass Menagerie, a play by Tennessee Williams and considered to be about his life, will run April 11-20, 2014. 

Moonglow, a play that looks at those with Alzheimer’s disease and their lives before, runs May 8-11, 2014.

Young Frankenstein, the Musical, a parody of horror films, closes the season June 6-22, 2014.

All productions will be performed on the Rep stage, 16 10th Street, with the exception of A Christmas Carol.

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