“Fiddle” your way to the Lutcher
Kicking off the New Year, “Fiddler on the Roof” once again comes to the Lutcher Theater Thursday and Friday this week.
In an interview at the start of the season, Jim Clark, director of the Lutcher said it has been a favorite of theater goers in Orange. “I think this is our third time to do it,” said Clark. “It’s been six or seven years since it was here and sold out. That’s a great show.”
John Preece will grace the Orange stage as Tevye once again. “I’m looking forward to it,” said Preece in a phone interview. “We always have a good time in Texas.” He said Texas performances have also included the Dallas-Fort Worth area, Galveston and Waco.
“I’ve done the show about 3,500 times but I just did my 1,831st performance as Tevye right before I came home for the holidays.”
Preece said he started acting in high school, and then he studied it in college. “I found it was something I was very good at, so that’s how I started.”
He has been in musical theater for over 40 years.
Preece enjoys playing Tevye. “It’s a great character and it’s easy to get involved with. It’s written very well. Once you get out on stage and start playing with it, it pretty much just takes you along.”
“The show deals with man and his relationship with his family; man and his relationship with his religion and his God; it is also a show about man’s inhumanity to man.”
Preece gave a synopsis of the storyline:
“It’s about a poor dairyman who struggles to keep his family alive and fed. He has five daughters, three of which are at an age to be married. His religion guides his life and traditions are set up by the religion that helps guide their lives.
“This takes place at the turn of the century and outside influences are starting to creep into his little town. Things start to change. He has to make way for new ideas and he struggles with it at times. Because of his love of his daughters, he does give in occasionally.”
The show has many memorable songs such as “Sunrise, Sunset,” “If I Were a Rich Man” and “Matchmaker, Matchmaker.”
“The thing about this show compared to other shows is, this is history; this is actually what happened and what was going on and it’s still going on today.”
“I’m sure there are mothers and fathers out there whose children are marrying someone they preferred they didn’t, but because of their love of them and wanting their children to be happy, they gave into their wishes,” he said.
There are around 30 members in the cast and the show runs about three hours. “Two hours and 40 minutes with an intermission,” said Preece. “The First act is fairly long. It’s about one hour and 47 minutes; the second act is a little shorter.”
“This show is being directed by a man who was in the original production with Zero Mostel when the show first opened,” said Preece. He said it is also uses the original choreography and the original staging. All the sets and costumes are based on the original designs, so it’s a true representation of Jerome Robbins’ vision and direction.
“Young people need to see this show,” said Clark.
“It’s an excellent show,” said Preece. “The orchestra’s great. The cast is strong and so I think [the audience] will enjoy it.”
Curtain goes up at 7:30 p.m. Tickets can be purchased online at Lutcher.org or at the box office.
The theater is located at 707 W. Main in Orange. For more information call 409-886-5535.