RIVERSIDE, CA – The Inland Empire’s newest theater is getting ready to raise the curtain on its debut production. Riverside Repertory Theater (Follow at www.facebook.com/riversiderep) , which strives to produce new and innovative approaches to traditional musical theater, will introduce itself with Fiddler on the Roof, opening March 14th for three weekends in downtown Riverside at the Box Theater in the Fox Entertainment Plaza.
“Most people have seen a production of Fiddler on the Roof over the years and there are some expectations because of that,” says Riverside Rep Artistic Director, Matt Neves. “We hope to provide an experience that is very, well, new.”
The story of Tevye, his family and his beloved Russian town, Annatevka, has been illuminated with charming and moving songs like “Matchmaker,” “If I were a Rich Man,” and “Sunrise, Sunset,” in productions for 50 years. Opening on Broadway in 1964, this instant classic has pulled the heart strings of parents and children alike for generations. And now Riverside Rep introduces a stunning new production of this award winning musical.
Riverside’s own Randy Ingram, an equity actor that has delighted audiences in this area for decades, will step into the role of Tevye or “Papa.” Ingram is joined by a stellar cast of local professionals including Ashley Wilkinson playing Golde; James Skousen as Lazar Wolf; Shane Litchfield as Motel the Tailor; Michaelia Mendoza, Samantha Flicker and Lauren Meyer playing Tevye’s daughters; and Allen Everman, a love interest.
“There are a few surprises in casting that are central to our ‘non-traditional’ approach to Fiddler and we really think they highlight Tevye’s struggle to deal with the ever-changing outside world that threaten to destroy his family,” says Neves.
The Box Theater, a convertible, 200 seat, black box theater, will house this and future Rep productions. The intimacy of the space was chosen to further present a new approach to musical theater.
“When most people experience the great characters of musical theater they are typically at least 200 to 300 feet away,” explains Rep Managing Director, David St. Pierre. “But having Val Jean, the Phantom, or Tevye 10 or 20 feet away is a completely different and far more intimate experience. And with The Box Theater, every seat is a front row seat.”
Fiddler on the Roof runs weekends March 14-30 and is directed by Matt Neves, with musical direction by Michael Antaramian, choreography from Tracey Freeman. Scott Smith will conduct a live, professional orchestra for the production. Rep Board President Matt Taylor provides lighting design, while Carmen Gomez and Desmond Smith design set and costumes, respectively. Drew Boudreau stage manages the show. Tickets can be purchased at www.riversiderep.org or by calling 800-595-4849.