"/> “Fiddler” returns in Bethel’s annual Broadway production | Bethel College, KS
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“Fiddler” returns in Bethel’s annual Broadway production

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NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – The beloved musical Fiddler on the Roof returns to the Krehbiel Auditorium stage as the production for this year’s Broadway at Bethel.

The performance will be Sunday, June 26, at 2 p.m., with a cast and crew of high school students from across the state. Bethel faculty, staff and alumni lead the annual music theater camp in which the students stage and produce a major show in just one week.

Fiddler on the Roof, with music by Jerry Brock, lyrics by Sheldon Harnick and book by Joseph Stein, is based on Yiddish stories by Sholem Aleichem. It debuted on Broadway in September 1964 and was nominated for 10 Tony Awards, winning nine.

The story is set in Tsarist Russia in 1905, in the shtetl (small village) of Anatevka. It centers around Tevye, a milkman, who with his wife Golde has five daughters. The profound and rapid changes taking place in politics and society, both in Russia and the world, encroach on Tevye’s attempts to maintain his Jewish religious traditions – made all the harder as the three oldest daughters fall in love and make their own choices of husbands.

Some of the best-known songs from Fiddler on the Roof include “Tradition,” “If I Were a Rich Man,” “To Life (L’Chaim),” “Miracle of Miracles” and “Sunrise, Sunset.”

In the Bethel College production, Dane Soderquist, Chicago, plays Tevye, and Lily Lancaster, Lawrence, is Golde. Katrina Jacobsen, Lawrence, is Tzeitel, the oldest daughter, Noelle Olson, Lawrence, is Hodel, the next oldest daughter, and Kimberly Blakes, Kansas City, Mo., is Chava, the middle daughter.

The remainder of the cast includes: Kate Brundrett, Shawnee, as Shprintze, the second-youngest daughter; Lauren Pettit, Arvada, Colo., as Bielke, the youngest daughter; Mycah Westhoff, Newton, as Yente the matchmaker; Trent Jones, Hutchinson, as Motel the tailor; Jevan Bremby, Lawrence, as Perchik, a student; Christian Drake, Wichita, as Lazar Wolf, the butcher; Brent Weaver, Hutchinson, as Mordcha, an innkeeper; Luke Loganbill, Moundridge, as the Rabbi; Riley King, Lawrence, as Mendel, the rabbi’s son; Adam Ramaley, Lawrence, as Avram, a bookseller; Kyle Houseman, Newton, as Nahum, a beggar; Sarah Hofkamp, Peabody, as Grandma Tzeitel; Caitlin Laird, Lawrence, as Fruma-Sarah, Lazar Wolf’s dead wife; Garrett Smith, Burrton, as the Constable; Alex Wells, Halstead, as Fyedka, a young Russian soldier; Alex Meier, Newton, as the Russian Tenor; Allison Molitor, Kingman, as Shandel, Motel’s mother; and Katy Messenger, Kingman, as Rifka.

Members of the ensemble (villagers, dancers) are: Jordan Claassen, Hesston; Emily Epp, North Newton; Hailey Faust, Wichita; Jared Fox, Newton; Maddie Goerend, Newton; Kate Jolliff, Newton; Sadie Jones, Hutchinson; Sadie Keller, Lawrence; Adam Kjellin, Marion; Tabetha Levy, Andover; Daniele Melton, Walton; Candace Miller, Wichita; Lydia Miller, Lawrence; Natalie Patterson-Goodwyn, Mulvane; Peytan Phemister, Marienthal; Hillary Podrebarac, Lawrence; Olivia Randolph, Lawrence; Chandra Rippe, Peabody; Noah Segard, Wichita; Andrew Stussie, Lawrence; Michael Thomas, Rock Rapids, Iowa; Erika Westhoff, Newton; Amy Wisby, Haven; Keegan White, Shawnee; and Javen Zellner, Marienthal.

Faculty for Broadway at Bethel 2011 are Cathy Crispino, vocal music teacher at Lawrence High School, chorus director; John McCabe-Juhnke, Bethel professor of communication arts, stage director; Annette Thornton, associate professor and director of music theater at Central Michigan University, Mount Pleasant, choreographer; Rich Toevs, Newton, accompanist; Megan Upton-Tyner, Bethel director of theater, co-technical director and camp director; and Toby Tyner, Bethel assistant director of development, co-technical director. They are assisted by a number of Bethel music and theater students.

Tickets for Fiddler on the Roof are $5 general admission and are available at Thresher Bookstore in Schultz Student Center, open Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m., phone 316-284-5205, or at the door (subject to availability).

Bethel College is the only private, liberal arts college in Kansas listed in the 2010-11 Forbes.com analysis of top colleges and universities in the United States, and is in the first tier in its category in the U.S. News & World Report annual ranking of “America’s Top Colleges” for 2011. The four-year liberal arts college is affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. For more information, see www.bethelks.edu.

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