FIDDLER ON THE ROOF -  Olean High School's Annual Musical
      Please mark Friday, April 12 and Saturday, April 13 on your calendars. This is when FIDDLER ON THE ROOF will be presented at the Olean High School at 7:30 pm. Tickets are available at the door and the price is a very affordable $7.00. This is a musical not to be missed and with a student cast of 52, crew of 13 and an orchestra with 7 OHS students, along with community members, FIDDLER represents  the end results of many weeks of rehearsals. Eighth graders through seniors are involved and together are they putting on a show for your enjoyment! Never was singing more joyful or dancing more spirited.

    The plot of FIDDLER is familiar to most people of a certain age, and was first staged on Broadway in 1964. Winner of nine Tony Awards, among them one for best musical, it tells the story of Tevye, a poor Jewish milkman, married to Golde and their five daughters. They live in Russia in the Pale of Settlement of Imperial Russia in 1905. The writing team of Block, Harnick and Stein do justice to the the tales of Sholem Aleichem and the stories of Tevye and His Daughters. Tevye's main concern is finding suitable husbands for his three oldest daughters and Yente, the village matchmaker, is helping with this endeavor. Tevye would also enjoy being a rich man and having his somewhat shrewish wife, Golde, be just a bit more understanding and not be afraid to say the word, "love." At the conclusion of FIDDLER,  the entire town of Anatevka is being displaced by the Russians and are departing, some to America, some to other parts of Europe. 

    The songs in this musical are very familiar - the enchanting, "Matchmaker, Matchmaker," sung by the five sisters is delightful. "If I Were a Rich Man" will have the audience humming along. The love songs of "Miracle of Miracles," "Now I Have Everything," "Far from the Home I Love," will enchant you. "Sunrise, Sunset" is a beautiful musical depiction of the beginnings and ending of life. "Tradition" truly says what this musical is about, even though the traditions are in the process of changing "Do You Love Me?' is the favorite of the artistic director/choreographer, and truly a tribute to a good marriage. After seeing this wonderful production the audience will be raising a glass "To Life: or "L'Chaim." It is an event not to be missed. See you at the show! It will be the best $7 you spend that week!

                  As one of the writers of the Olean Theatre Workshop Newsletter, I have the opportunity to see our past laid out in scrapbooks. It is a very interesting and detailed history, and it makes this writer feel quite humble to see this, and to know we are always focusing on the future.No resting on the laurels of the past. What is shown over and over and over again, is that anything done had and has an end result - the kids. It has always been about the kids. Back in the 1990s, when there was more of a connection with The Acting Company, and the Broadway Series, often there would be a Master class or Master week  presented to students at the Workshop or at the Olean High School. The actors and actresses were eager to share their knowledge and talents. This will be discussed further in a future article. In our recent past, a group of OHS and OTW traveled to Houghton College,when both the college and the OHS were staging OKLAHOMA. Dr. Amanda Cox, Director of the Lyric Theatre at Houghton, did a Master class for OTW Performance students and then worked with our cast of OKLAHOMA. The magic truly  happened when the two casts were on stage together! All about the kids! Several years back,when OTW was staging I NEVER SAW ANOTHER BUTTERFLY, Sophia Veffner, survivor of the Holocaust,and a contemporary of Anne Frank,  came to speak to the ninth grade students who study THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK, the cast of the play and later a community presentation at Temple B'Nai Israel. That, too, is a never-to-be- forgotten event. Again, all about the kids! Always and forever. The kids, our future, and we are so very honored to be a part of their lives. 

     THE CRUCIBLE by Arthur Miller will be presented at the Workshop May 2 through May 5, and will be the focus article in next month's newsletter. Many local thespians are involved and it would be an excellent idea to secure your ticket early, as it is sure to be a sellout. This particular play by Arthur Miller is focused on the Salem Witch- Hunts and subsequent trials of 1692-1693 in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Witch- hunts still occur today, and innocent people continue to be sullied and targeted as were the "witches" of THE CRUCIBLE. It is something that bears a good deal of thought - how lies and hatred can destroy people. A timely play for such a time as this.
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