Sunday, July 20, 2014

Fiddler on the Roof

the three Tevyes
The Moorestown Theater Company is presenting Fiddler on the Roof on the 50th anniversary of its Broadway debut. Performances can be seen at the William Allen Middle School, 801 N. Stanwick Road in Moorestown through July 26. The 70 member cast is bursting with non-stop energy and is aptly accompanied by a 10 piece pit orchestra.  Because so many talented actors auditioned for roles in Fiddler, the decision was made to triple-cast the show, with the lead actors becoming members of the ensemble in the performances in which they were not playing their lead roles.  It is easy to understand, therefore, why even the ensemble pieces are so strong.  I was fortunate enough to see the performance with the Black Cast, starring Mark Pinzur as Tevye, Debbie Zimmerman as Golde and Maxine Pinzur as Yente the Matchmaker and was immediately transported back to another lifetime in Anatevka.  The White Cast, starring Bruce Jordan, Andrea  Leibowitz and Dolores  Sattin and the Gold Cast, starring Richard Fischer, Carol Ann Murray and Gina Zegel are sure to be delightful as well as they dance on-stage and sing in the aisles during the Black Cast’s performances.  The choreography is very well executed, which is no easy task with a cast of 70 on the stage. Even the scene changes are artfully done. Fiddler on the Roof is Moorestown Theater Company’s 12th “Main Stage” Musical, and while I have not seen them all, I have seen several, and this one is certainly one of the best.  If you haven’t gotten seen this production yet, be sure to purchase a ticket for one of the remaining performances. Call 609-922-2506.

Saturday, July 12, 2014


Sonny and Kira
Mazeppa Productions is a young theatre company founded in 2011 by Rob Henry and Brian Seaman. This is their fourth season of attaining their goal to bring “exciting and vibrant” musical theatre to Philadelphia through inventive productions. Their main production this season is Xanadu which can be seen at Christ Church Neighborhood House, 20 North American Street, in the Old City section of Philadelphia, through July 26.  Zanadu is a touching musical comedy about following your dreams. The exuberance and exhilaration of the young cast is contagious. The energy that each cast member exudes electrifies the entire audience.  Young Sonny Malone, played by C.J. Celeiro, becomes depressed when he can’t formulate his artistic vision concretely. Kira, a Greek muse portrayed by Erica Nicole Rothman, mysteriously appears to inspire him. Rothman not only inspires. She sings; she skates; she dances; she scats while another taps; and she can act! This young lady is just beginning her studies as a musical theatre major but I’m sure we will be seeing a lot more of her in the future. There is a wealth of talent in this production and thanks to Costume Designer Julia Poiesz, the costumes are dazzling.  Zanadu is not just a feast for your eyes, however. It's a font of laughter as well. The audience roars when Sonny, who questions the authenticity of the Greek muses, is treated to a response of “Why do you think we speak in unison?”  The show is 90 minutes of non-stop fun. For tickets or more information, call 215-559-9602 or visit online at