The drama students at Atascadero High School are going to have another hit on their hands.
This week they show off their talents with a repeat of a marvelous show, “Fiddler on the Roof,” which opens Thursday in the Baro Gymnasium on the Atascadero Junior High School campus.
Why do I know it is a hit?
I know because the show is being directed by veteran drama teacher Catherine Kingsbury working with a cast of 26 boys and 19 girls. I also know how good it will be because I sat in on a rehearsal last week.
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This show opens with a real fiddler on a real roof. Tim Losbog plays the opening violin piece that kicks off this musical, which focuses on family, faith, “traditions” and community in early-day Russia. The cast members have been researching the Russian and Jewish cultures at the turn of the 20th century to put themselves in character. They even interviewed a butcher and a milkman to learn about those jobs.
Two seniors play the lead roles. Dakota Williams is Tevye and April Pandosh is his wife, Golde. These two are playing people much older than they are.
“I just felt a connection with the character,” April said. Dakota was not familiar with this popular musical so he said he “got the movie and loved it.”
The story focuses on a small village and the lives of this traditional couple and their daughters, played by Emily Ingram, Brianna Josephs, Alyssa Lartigau, Micaela Morgan and Keandra Prince.
I was enthralled with the way this cast sang and danced at least three of my favorite tunes: “Traditions,” “If I Were a Rich Man,” and “To Life.” Just wait until you hear Wesley van den Eikhof’s brief solo in the tavern scene, which includes Russian villagers and Russia soldiers celebrating a recent marriage “match-up” between Lazar Wolf (Luke Sletten) and Tevye’s daughter, Tzeitel.
An early standout performance was turned in by Ari Lagomarsino. She plays Yente, the dreaded matchmaker who is the focus of another popular tune from the show, “Matchmaker, Matchmaker.”
I’ve seen this show done by many different drama groups, from high school to professionals. In fact, a PCPA Theaterfest production is set to open this Thursday at the Clark Center for the Performing Arts in Arroyo Grande.
Atascadero High’s drama kids will once again prove themselves worthy of such a marvelous show. I guarantee that you and I will be humming “Sunrise, Sunset” for days after the curtain falls.
For ticket information and performance times, call the AHS Drama Boosters at 952-3101 or Tammy Lopez at 835-1986.