Fiddler exceeds expectations


courtesy of Nicole Labun

Jackson Dockery, senior, who played Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof, belts out a song.

Over the course of the two and a half hours that Fiddler on the Roof , put on by retired English teacher Chris Hicks, ran in the Central auditorium, I laughed, I cheered, I sighed, and if you looked close enough, I even cried.  From senior Jackson Dockery as the leading role of Tevye and junior Presleigh Renner as Tevye’s wife Golde, to the amazing singing performances, the musical truly did exceed my expectations.  It was one of the best I’ve seen in years.

The plot is focused on a small Jewish town in Russia called Anatevka. Tevye, the main character, is faced with his daughters falling in love with men that, at first, seem like less than ideal matches based on differences in religion and ideologies. One is even planning on being deployed overseas in the military during the engagement.  Throughout the play, Tevye goes through the struggle of deciding between not giving his daughters permission to marry men that he doesn’t think they should be marrying and letting them follow their hearts.

Jackson Dockery did an incredible job as Tevye, as did Presleigh Renner who as his wife created a believable chemistry between the characters. His daughters included performances by seniors Anna Blanchard and Claire Sullivan and juniors Shannon Johnson, Caity Tirakian, and Christine Boddicker. Touching solos were sung by sophomore Jack Rasmussen and senior Jonah Lillioja and senior Nicole Labun played the funny role of Yenta the matchmaker. There was even a flying character, Fruma, played by sophomore Evan Donaldson, that left the crowd in awe.

Junior Arman Haveric, who played Mendel the Rabbi’s son, enjoyed seeing the final product come together, “The camaraderie of coming together was great and when you finally get to see the final product, it’s the best feeling in the world,” he said.

The orchestra was also fantastic.  The music followed the mood of the scenes accordingly, and it was perfect.  The sound was emphatic, and it definitely added an important element to the set.

“I liked seeing how everything was put together and how the music represented what was happening as [the actors] performed,” said junior Sophie Lekas, who played the violin in the orchestra.

With a cast of 40 students, the scenes were seamless and the dance numbers impressive. Freshmen Raunak Malhotra, Sam Rasmussen and Alex Martin sang eight numbers as part of the choir, including the memorable wedding scene.

One of the surprises for me was how good costumes were.  Nearly all the men on stage were bearded, and all of the woman had their heads covered.  The characters not only played the part of of early 20th century Russian citizens, but they looked it as well.

For someone who doesn’t see many high school musicals, Fiddler on the Roof exceeded my expectations.  I wasn’t expecting to be as engrossed in the plot, or laugh so hard, but I have to give credit where credit is due.  The cast really did an exceptional job, and it makes me wonder what I’ve been missing out on all of these years absent from the auditorium during the spring and fall musicals and plays.

Click to listen to senior Jackson Dockery and junior Presleigh Renner sing “Do you love me” from their performances in Fiddler on the Roof.