Fiddler on the Roof brings timely message to Oak Bay stage

Oak Bay High’s presentation of Fiddler on the Roof runs Feb. 28 to March 7 in the Dave Dunnet Community Theatre. Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. for the Feb. 28, and 29, March 4 to 7, with a 2 p.m. matinee on March 1. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)
Oak Bay High’s presentation of Fiddler on the Roof runs Feb. 28 to March 7 in the Dave Dunnet Community Theatre. Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. for the Feb. 28, and 29, March 4 to 7, with a 2 p.m. matinee on March 1. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)
Oak Bay High’s presentation of Fiddler on the Roof runs Feb. 28 to March 7 in the Dave Dunnet Community Theatre. Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. for the Feb. 28, and 29, March 4 to 7, with a 2 p.m. matinee on March 1. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)
Oak Bay High’s presentation of Fiddler on the Roof runs Feb. 28 to March 7 in the Dave Dunnet Community Theatre. Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. for the Feb. 28, and 29, March 4 to 7, with a 2 p.m. matinee on March 1. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)
Oak Bay High’s presentation of Fiddler on the Roof runs Feb. 28 to March 7 in the Dave Dunnet Community Theatre. Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. for the Feb. 28, and 29, March 4 to 7, with a 2 p.m. matinee on March 1. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)
Oak Bay High’s presentation of Fiddler on the Roof runs Feb. 28 to March 7 in the Dave Dunnet Community Theatre. Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. for the Feb. 28, and 29, March 4 to 7, with a 2 p.m. matinee on March 1. (Travis Paterson/News Staff) Oak Bay High’s presentation of Fiddler on the Roof runs Feb. 28 to March 7 in the Dave Dunnet Community Theatre. Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. for the Feb. 28, and 29, March 4 to 7, with a 2 p.m. matinee on March 1. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)

When searching through the old book of musicals for this year’s spring show, the issues Fiddler on the Roof touches on were too on point to overlook, said Oak Bay High history teacher Tim Bradshaw.

Oak Bay High’s theatre and music students are performing the classic 1960s musical, with its spirited choreography and its timeless themes, starting Friday night in the Dave Dunnet Theatre.

“The social message of antisemitism that Fiddler looks at is pretty deep, what with the issue of racism that’s flying around right now,” said Bradshaw, who is leading the show’s costume and design. “It comes with a powerful message that resonates in the now.”

READ MORE: Chim Chim Cher-ee! Mary Poppins is coming to Oak Bay High

The show will closely follow the original score and script by Jerry Bock, Sheldon Harnick and Joseph Stein.

Set somewhere in a Jewish town of early 1900s Russia, it centres on Tevye (played by Grade 12 student Chase Ward) the modest milkman and his wife, Golde (played by Grade 12 student Sophie McGrath) and their five daughters, three of which marry in the show.

If it seems like another world, it is. Bradshaw invited a Rabbi who visited the cast and spent time explaining what the social climate was like growing up in the Baltic region Pale of Settlement and persecution that Jewish people faced.

The show reunites Bradshaw with director and choreographer Heather Day Jeliazkov (her third time directing Fiddler) and musical director Steve Price, who staged the musical Mary Poppins with Oak Bay High students in 2019.

“We are really lucky to have the whole community contribute,” Bradshaw noted. “We’ve got costumes from Langham Court Theatre, from the Canadian College of Performing Arts, and even Party Crashers, who people might not realize have very helpful advice and a passion for costumes.”

And what goes around comes around, Bradshaw said. For instance, Glenlyon Norfolk is borrowing Oak Bay’s Mary Poppins’ costumes for their upcoming show. And last year, Oak Bay borrowed Spectrum’s Mary Poppins costumes.

“The Oak Bay community, and the theatre community really chip in and makes this happen,” Bradshaw said.

The show also gives the hungry, talented actors a range of opportunities to put their energy into a musical full of dynamic dance routines and over-the-top vocal and gesturing tropes that come expected with Fiddler on the Roof.

READ ALSO: Oak Bay High piano fundraising committee raises a glass to donors

Altogether, the show features almost 90 students with the symphony, crew, builders, costumes and actors.

“And we can’t overlook the parents helping feed the kids during long rehearsals, parents who helped build the set pieces, such as the giant milk cart for Tevye, or those who are ensuring family with mobility problems will have access to seats,” Bradshaw said. “So many people are so helpful.”

Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. for the Feb. 28, and 29, March 4 to 7, with a 2 p.m. matinee on March 1.

reporter@oakbaynews.com


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Live theatreMusic

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Fire ban implimented in Sooke, throughout province in response to COVID-19

More regulations can be expected as governments aim to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus

Advocates call safe drug supply a victory but worry about logistics in pandemic

Pandemic contributes to scarce supply, advocates worried about potential impact on the streets

Greater Victoria survey shows third of respondents did not pay, or partially paid rent for April

Survey of 70 respondents says 40 per cent expect they will not be able to pay May rent

Vikes Maffia, Mollenhauer among annual athletic award winners

UVic Vikes release annual athletic awards

Nanaimo, Royal Jubilee to be Vancouver Island’s COVID-19 frontline hospitals

Other Island hospitals will be admitting COVID-19 patients and will be used in a support role

B.C. clears more acute hospital beds as COVID-19 case growth slows

Province holding about 40% of beds empty for peak still to come

75-year-old woman rescued from Cowichan Lake

Victim taken to hospital, but expected to recover

Not to become bored the game plan for COVID-19

Board game with an Island map developed by Island family just the remedy for filling time at home

As 500K+ apply for emergency benefit, Trudeau says aid coming for Canadians left behind

Canada Emergency Response Benefit provides $2,000 per month

UPDATE: UK PM Boris Johnson moved to intensive care after COVID-19 symptoms worse

He has been quarantined in his Downing St. residence since being diagnosed with COVID-19 on March 26

Travellers, travel agents ‘in agony’ over refund policies and customer service

Many Canadian carriers are offering customers flights rebookings or travel vouchers — but not refunds

Introverted and extroverted kids likely to react differently to COVID-19 restrictions

B.C. child psychologist says your parenting approach can’t be one-size fits all in social isolation

B.C. begins taking submissions for $2M COVID-19 research fund

Rural health, impact of shifting hospital resources among priorities

Most Read