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|Paynesville Press - March 1, 2006|
PAMS choir stages musical,
The Paynesville Area Middle School Seventh and Eighth Grade Choir staged "Fiddler on the Roof Junior" over the weekend in the school auditorium. Nearly four dozen choir students presented the musical on Friday during the school day for the other middle school students and in public performances on Friday and Saturday nights that drew around 600 people.|
This is the second straight year that the choir has presented a musical. Last year choir members performed "The Music Man Junior."
"Fiddler on the Roof Junior" is a one-act edition of the well-known Broadway musical, which was made into a movie in 1971. The Broadway version won nine Tony Awards in 1964, including Best Musical. The film version was nominated for eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture, and won three, but not Best Picture.
Constable (Trevor Spanier) informs the Jewish residents of Anatevka - from right, David Ruprecht, Mitchell Meed, Matt Everson, Matthew Lenzmeier, and Cody Lieser - that they must leave their village, bringing "Fiddler on the Roof Junior" to a conclusion.
Familiar songs in "Fiddler on the Roof Junior" include: "If I Were a Rich Man," "Matchmaker," "Sunrise, Sunset," and "Tradition."
All of the students in the choir participated in the production. Auditions for the main parts were held in December, and cast rehearsals began after Christmas vacation in January. The students practiced both during the regular school day in choir lessons and in the evening.
The play is set in a Jewish village in Czarist Russia (circa 1905), starring milkman Tevye (David Ruprecht), his wife Golde (Mariah Fuchs), and their five daughters (Tzeitel, Kristine Hoeft; Hodel, Jackie Skoglund; Chava, Aly Schultz; Shprintze, Josie Magnan; and Bielke, Christy Escalera).
In the face of the changing times, Tevye is forced to choose between his Jewish traditions and his daughters' wishes, especially when it comes to love and marriage. At the end of the play, the entire village is forced to leave, further splitting the family and friends.
"The kids did a great job, and it all came together," said choir director Cheryl Bungum. "I think it gives them a sense of pride (to do a musical)."
Bungum, in addition to students and parents for their hard work and time, thanked all the community help to make the musical look so good, from the dramatic lighting to the authentic sets and costumes. The professionalism of the setting added to the stage experience for the students, which is a prime reason for staging a musical, she said.
Bottle dancers during a wedding scene included, from right, Kristyn Osterhaus, Adriano Ihrke, Brent Schlangen, Zach Cole, and Trevor Spanier.
"Fiddler on the Roof Junior" will take the place of the seventh and eighth grade choir's spring concert.
"Fiddler on the Roof Junior" is part of the Broadway Junior Collection. It was presented through special arrangement with and all authorized performance materials are supplied by Music Theatre International, 421 West 54th Street, New York, NY 10019.
Cast of Characters
Director: Cheryl Bungum
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