Students call the production a show and a history lesson all in one.
Cinnaminson High School Drama Club will present its rendition of the classic Broadway show “Fiddler on the Roof” this weekend after months of rehearsals.
“Fiddler,” the first Broadway show to run for more than 3,000 performances, is a big change from last year’s production of “Sweeney Todd,” which producer Sean Wilson says was the club’s most difficult and ambitious project.
“I think that show gave the students the confidence that they can basically handle anything,” Wilson said. “They have been great to work with this year — very dedicated and ready to perform.”
“Fiddler” will be Wilson’s eighth show with Cinnaminson.
Sophomore Julia Brennan says unlike “Sweeney Todd,” “Fiddler” is a show for all ages.
“It’s a family-friendly show. Kids can come and enjoy it, too,” Brennan said.
The show is set in 1905 Russia and follows father of five Tevye, played by senior Wes Hopkins, as he tries to uphold his Jewish tradition in an ever-changing social and political landscape.
Senior Christina Gentile is starring alongside Hopkins as Tevye’s wife, Golde. Gentile describes her character as an older mother in a 25-year-old arranged marriage focused on keeping the wheels turning to get through the day.
“She doesn’t coddle people. She’s a very rough character, and I think that a lot of moms will be able to identify with her because a lot of moms feel like they’re constantly going and they don’t have a break,” Gentile said.
Gentile is one of 75 students involved with this year’s production, which will feature numerous dance numbers and provide the audience with an entertaining history lesson. This will be the first high school production held in the school’s newly renovated auditorium.
Sophomore Helaina Perejo says she has met most of her friends through theater, but has gained much more than that.
“The stage brings out this vulnerable side of teenagers that you really don’t get to see in high school because we’re all so guarded,” Perejo said. “On the stage, you can’t be. You have to embrace all your mistakes and flaws.”
Freshman Macy Kravil agreed, saying it has helped her overcome her fear of public speaking.
“As with any Cinnaminson High School Drama Club production, [the audience] can expect to be entertained and amazed by this great group of students,” Wilson said. “And with a show like ‘Fiddler,’ even if you’ve never seen it, you know many of these songs. It is iconic.”
Some of the more popular songs featured in the show include “Matchmaker,” “If I Were a Rich Man” and “Sunrise, Sunset.”
“Fiddler on the Roof” will premiere on Friday, March 17 at 8 p.m. Other weekend show times will be Saturday, March 18 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sunday, March 19 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for students and free for senior citizens and will be available at the door.