Fiddler on the Roof will kick off the 93rd consecutive season at Theatre Memphis with director Kell Christie reliving each moment. The show is about Tevye, a father of five daughters, some of whom try his patience and his Jewish traditions with their choice of husbands. The rich family bond that he attempts to keep is a major element in the history of Christie’s experiences with Fiddler on the Roof. A lifelong theatre devotee, Fiddler on the Roof was the first show in which she ever performed and it was directed by her father. And as fate would have it, the last show her father directed her in was Fiddler, as well.
“My connection to this show is on such an emotional level that it is easy to pass on the passion of the story to the cast,” Christie says. “Some of my earliest memories are about my father directing Fiddler and that made an indelible impression on me. It is such a joyful experience to be able to bring something I feel so passionately about to the Theatre Memphis stage.” Former Artistic Director for Theatre Memphis, Christie muses, “It is about family, tradition, home and this is home to me. Not just Theatre Memphis, but the show itself. I tried to make it even more about family by using my husband as the fiddler and my five year old daughter in a role. But she pretty much shot that down by saying she preferred to watch. I guess this theatre thing may skip a generation,” she laughs.
Theatre Memphis Executive Producer Debbie Litch feels like Fiddler on the Roof is a great example of what Theatre Memphis does best. She says, “Fiddler has all the elements that we can make shine. From the cast that is from our talented community, to the sets, costumes and light and sound, this show is one that will have all the professional qualities that our patrons have come to expect. And what a story. I just think this show is pure entertainment and with Kell’s touch it will be so beautifully done.”
Starring as Tevye is Chuck Hodges who is no stranger to the TM stage. Most recently he was Ghost of Christmas Present in the 34th annual production of A Christmas Carol. Other lead cast members include Carrie Corbet, Ellen Nikbakht, Ellen Saba, Lillie Burrow, Steven Albart, John Dylan Atkins and Russell Lehman. The entire cast totals almost 40 volunteer actors including James Cacy and Kevin Rogers, both of whom teach in the Shelby County School System like Christie does now at Houston High School.
Fiddler on the Roof will play Theatre Memphis, 630 Perkins Ext in Memphis, Tenn., August 24 – September 16, 2012, according to the following schedule: 7:30pm Wednesday, September 12, and Thursdays, 8pm Fridays and Saturdays with matinees on Sunday at 2pm
Tickets are $28 adults, $15 students with valid ID, $10 children under 12. Call the box office at 901.682.8323 or go online at www.theatrememhis.org.