“Fiddler on the Roof” arrives at the Madison Theatre on April 10
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“There are so many layers to him, the highs, the lows, the love he has for his family. Even though he will sometimes complain about his family, he loves them unconditionally. Once I had kids, I began to see him in a different way than I had before.”
Tevye’s wrestling with the new customs of a younger generation is punctuated by that unforgettable score that weaves the haunting strains of “Sunrise, Sunset” and the rousing “If I Were A Rich Man” with the exuberant “Matchmaker, Matchmaker” and triumphant “Tradition.”
When his daughters choose suitors who defy his idea of a proper match, Tevye comes to realize, through a series of incidents that are at once comic and bittersweet, that his children will begin traditions of their own. At the story’s close, the villagers of Anatevka are forced to leave their homes and even the sturdy mores that have guided everyday life begin to crumble. Paradoxically, it is the enforced loss of the rigid traditions and home life that Tevye has tried so tenaciously to preserve that leads the family to reconcile and draw closer still.
“This is a show that resonates with everyone,” said Summers. “It may be about a Jewish community, but everyone has traditions and understands how families can be displaced. Those universal themes of love and hope are timeless and so pertinent to today. Especially since the housing market crash, a lot of people who have been displaced, and wonder what will happen next, can identify with what Tevye and his family experience. There is always that hope that things will turn around and everyone can relate to that message that things will turn around.”
Summers credits his cast for welcoming him into the role on such short notice. “We have an incredible cast, up and down,” he said. “I can’t say enough about them and and am proud to be a part of this show. They are a great group.”