MICHIGAN CITY | “This show is all about family, the connections they have with each other, with God and the world around them,” Komendera said. “I love this musical because it shows us that even when bad things happen families band together, people can come together and survive.”
In “Fiddler,” Tevye (Kevin Sherman) is an overworked, philosophical milkman trying to maintain order in his Jewish family in early 1900s Russia. But his troubles start early when his eldest daughter, Tzeitel (Rachel Steigely) bucks tradition and chooses her own husband. Why couldn’t she marry the rich town butcher instead, especially when Tevye made an agreement with him? Tevye wishes he knew the answer to that, and how he will manage to tell his sharp-tongued wife, Golde (Alicia Ebaugh).
Tevye’s troubles are just starting, as there are still two more marriageable daughters at home, Hodel (Rachel Best), and Chava (Molly Dashiell) – not to mention the possibility that his entire village may need to leave the homes they've always known.
There are likely many audience members who can identify with the characters, Komendera said, and you'll probably go home whistling a tune or two.
Additional cast members include Shelby Attar, Laurel Blankenship, Howard Brenneman, Kristen Campbell, Emil Cripe, Paloma Calvin, Emmy, Deb, Lily and Jordan Dashiell, Alice Dickey, Emmanouel Fokianos, Christian Galvan, Andrew Gordon, Conor Gordon, Roger Hughes, Eva Huss, Michaela Kisner, Pat Kunze, Larry Langley, Merle Miller, Amanda Monson, Dan Moser, Susan Quiriconi, Alyssa Rosselli, Cheyenne Sims, Amanda Sixbury, Matt Stefankiewicz, Michael Thomas, Annabell Turner, Jan Weinig, Mary Whybrew, And Christine Wiegand.
Sherman, a 35-year veteran of community theater across the region, said playing Tevye is one of the highlights of his career. “There's so much going on in this musical,” he said. “You get to be entertained and sneak in a history lesson, laugh and cry within 10 minutes.” Sherman said he has enjoyed learning about Jewish customs and culture in order for his character to be historically accurate. He also just wrapped up a sold-out run playing the rabbi in another Jewish-themed show, “Jewtopia” at Towle Theatre in Hammond.
“Fiddler” wraps up Footlight's 63rd season. Production dates are June 7-9, 14-16, and 21-23. Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for children 12 and under. For reservations, call (219) 874-4035 or visit footlightplayers.org. The website also has a printable 2-for-1 coupon good for opening night, June 7.
Auditions for the next two Footlight plays, “Dearly Departed” (to be presented in August) and “The Passion of Dracula,” (to be presented in October) will be at the theater, 1705 Franklin St., from 7 to 9 p.m. June 10 and 11.