New Ulm Actors Community Theatre presents: Fiddler on the Roof

NEW ULM – Theater professional Paul Warshauer said that he’s been a part of 543 play productions in his long career, a fascinating number even for someone who practically lives on the stage.

But even in Warshauer’s long career, his latest project, “Fiddler on the Roof” with New Ulm Actor’s Community Theatre, is perhaps one that he’s the most excited for.

The presentation, along with the new theater on State Street (formerly the District Administrative Center), has Warshauer and the rest of the crew anticipating big things.

Show dates begin at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, July 24; with nightly shows at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. The weekend concludes with a 2 p.m. show on Sunday. All seats are reserved, and ticket prices range from $7.50 to $15.

Simply put, the new facility has NUACT thinking big.

“NUACT has a new theater, so we wanted to show that it was big enough to be on that stage and basically hold about 850 people,” Warshauer said. “We wanted to pick a show that had a broad number of characters in addition to just leads. ‘Fiddler’ has a lot of individual character parts, and we have tremendous actors.

“It’s a universal story that talks about family, a father with five daughters that’s in turmoil. The daughters are marrying guys that aren’t in the tradition.”

The musical is based on short stories written in 1894 by the Ukrainian author, Sholem Aleichem. The fictional town of Anatevka is in present day Ukraine where there has been trouble and strife.

It’s not the first time Warshauer has been a part of “Fiddler on the Roof,” but in all of the times he has worked on the musical, this time might be the strongest cast yet.

“I have been involved with the show several times over the past 50 years,” Warshauer said, “but this is the first time I feel the cast is responding in a professional manner. The show will be wonderful because the cast understands the idea that life is laden with happiness and tears, contained in the song “Sunrise Sunset.”

Warshauer and company started working on the set last August and by March they announced auditions. They’ve had a small window to work since finalizing who will do what role, but that’s fine with Warshauer, who said that they work hard at practice and at home when they can.

Kent Menzel plays Tevye, the Jewish dairyman who has five daughters and must balance his traditions against a shifting world. The story has a family theme and Warshauer said anyone in town can relate to the storyline.

Yente, the matchmaker is played by Brenda Nielsen and Tevye’s oldest daughter, Tzeitel is played by Danica Scharlemann. Perchik is played by David Wendland who also plays the “Fiddler.” The tailor Motel Kamzoil is played by Alex Schotzko and his love interest is Hodel played by Leah Boeder.

The vocal director is Kathy Wurster. The orchestra is conducted by Miles Wurster. The stage manager is Vicki Kuehn and the choreographers are Missy Marti and Anita Prestige, who also plays Golde, Tevye’s wife. The assistant director and NUACT’s directing intern is Andrea Broman. Costumes are by Molly and Lolly of Mankato.

“It’s a good community theater production. We have a full orchestra, which is unusual,” Warshauer said. “We have two choreographers, which is amazing.”

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