Posted: May 9, 2013 10:35 AM by Dan Shadwell
A man working to hold his family together in a changing world is not a new new story line.
But there's no better or more vibrant version of that theme, than "Fiddler on the Roof."
At the turn of the 20th century in Ukraine, Jewish citizens of the Russian empire were facing growing hostility and ethnic hatred.
In today's Local Spotlight... a new production by the PCPA fills the space at the Clark Center in Arroyo Grande with bold characters and song.
Director Roger DeLaurier says while you may already know Tevye and the songs from "Fiddler", there's something about seeing the show live that's magical.
"Every time you bring a group of people together and a group of designers together, we conceive the production," he explains, "... and it's fresh and new because it's these people, doing it now."
The show kicks off with an exuberant celebration of all things old school, with the entire cast belting out, "Tradition."
"The opening number is setting up that world of tradition and the way things are," DeLaurier explains, "...so that then, the rest of the play we see the pressure of change on that world."
Inside that dramatic frame work, there are complicated family dynamics, political battles, love stories, and plenty of comedy.
But like so many other times in history, members of the Jewish community are ultimately blamed for the nation's ills and persecution follows. DeLaurier explains what follows as no less than ethnic cleansing.
"The Jews are kicked out of Russia and this is a family that comes to America."
He says that part of the story--the immigrant experience and the effort required to keep modern families together--is something many of us can relate to today.
The PCPA production of "Fiddler on the Roof" runs at the Clark Center in Arroyo Grande through May 12th, then moves to the Solvang Festival Theater from June 13th to July 6th.
For tickets and more information, just go to the homepage of ksby.com and click on "Links."
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