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

VicPD find used, uncapped needle tied to handrail in Beacon Hill Park

Officers believe the needle was put there with the intent to harm someone

PHOTOS: Kids, parents cool off at Langford splash park

Centennial Park is home to a popular water feature

Saanich landfill gets used oil and antifreeze dropoff centre upgrades

BC Used Oil Management Association oversees upgrades, two new facilities in province

Saanich woman completes 10 marathons, raises double her initial goal amount

Over $20,000 raised for Victoria Hospitals Foundation

Colwood man to ride 400 kilometres to fight kids cancer

Man riding for a beloved family member who died from leukemia at 13-years-old

VIDEO: Otter pups learn to swim at B.C. wildlife rescue facility

Watch Critter Care’s Nathan Wagstaffe help seven young otters go for their first dip

Rollout of COVID-19 Alert app faces criticism over accessibility

App requires users to have Apple or Android phones made in the last five years, and a relatively new operating system

Alleged impaired driver sparks small wildfire near Lytton after crash: B.C. RCMP

Good Samaritans prevented the blaze from getting out of control

B.C. First Nation adopts ‘digital twinning’ software to better manage territory

Software allows users to visualize what a mountain might look like if the trees on its slopes were logged

Woman arrested near Nanaimo beach after alleged road rage incidents

37-year-old woman facing charges including assault, assaulting a police officer, impaired driving

All inquiry recommendations implemented after fatal Port Hardy RCMP shooting: Ministry

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. cleared the RCMP officers involved of wrongdoing

Leave your deets when dining: Restaurants taking personal info to trace COVID-19

Health officials say indoor dining presents a higher risk

Raptors kneel for both American and Canadian anthems ahead of tipoff

Majority of players have substituted their names on the backs of their jerseys with racial and social justice messages

Most Read