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Fiddler Celebrates Tradition

Coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the beloved classic premiering on Broadway, Fiddler on the Roof will be performed by the Sid Jacobson Community Players on the East Hills stage beginning Jan. 25, including the acting talents of Floral Park resident, Cyndi Hazell. Hazell will play the character Fruma-Sarah.

The story centers on Tevye, the father of five daughters, and his attempts to maintain his family and Jewish religious traditions while outside influences encroach upon their lives in 1905 Russia. The first musical to surpass 3,000 performances, Fiddler held the record for the longest-running Broadway musical for almost 10 years.

“I have been trying to get the rights to Fiddler for a few years and have been turned down because it has been on tour locally,” says JCC Theatre Arts Director and the show’s producer, Susan Kalman. “I am thrilled to finally have the honor of producing this glorious musical, particularly since 2014 marks the 50th anniversary of Fiddler’s Broadway opening.”

“I am very passionate about this play. Fiddler is a beautiful show with a timeless message for all generations—and speaks to people of all religions and backgrounds,” the producer continues. “It’s about family and tradition, changing with the times, and prejudice and community.”

The extremely gifted ensemble of 35 adults, teens and children have been rehearsing three evenings a week since November, all donating their time and talents because of their love of theater. Cast members come from a variety of professions, including doctors, lawyers, teachers and students. The youngest is 7-year-old Keira Stolowitz.

Two mother-daughter pairs are sharing their skills. Mom Lisbeth Licht Wolgel not only co-stars as Golde but also doubles as the show’s choreographer, and daughter Chelsea Wolgel plays Fiddler. Tzeitel is portrayed by mom Stacey Weinberger and real-life daughter Alexa Weinberger plays Bielke, Tevye’s youngest daughter.

The musical marks the JCC’s ninth annual community theater production. Music director Steve Belfer, choreographer Wolgel and some of the actors have been a part of the community theater productions with Kalman since the beginning.

“Fiddler is one of my favorites, having directed it twice and performing in it once with our wonderful Tevye (Frank Hendricks),” says third time JCC director Rich Buckley of Williston Park. “I am always amazed at the emotional impact it has on an audience time and time again. As we celebrate its 50th anniversary, it seems as topical today as it was when the curtain opened for its debut performance at the Imperial Theater,” says Buckley, who prior to directing at the JCC, acted in two plays there.

Fiddler on the Roof will be performed at the Sid Jacobson Community Center in East Hills on Jan. 25 and 26 and Feb. 1 and 2. Saturday evening shows begin at 8 p.m. and Sunday matinees begin at 2 p.m. Tickets cost $22 with the reduced price of $20 for members and $18 for seniors and students. For information, contact Kalman at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 516-484-1545, ext. 110.

News

The Sewanhaka Central High School District School Board adopted the 2014-15 proposed budget last week. The proposed budget total for the 2014-15 school year is $175.3 million, a budget increase of $3.52 million from last year. The tax levy increase is set at 2.1 percent. The budget vote will take place on May 20.

The current projection for state aid in 2014-15 is $29.2 million in the state legislative budget, a slight increase from last year ($27.8 million).

“There was a budget-to-budget state aid increase of 5.2 percent,” District Superintendent Dr. Ralph Ferrie said.

The Floral Park Historical Society will host the unveiling of a historic marker to commemorate the first and only Vanderbilt Cup Race that traversed the Floral Park community, on October 8, 1904. It was one of the six Vanderbilt Cup international auto races held on Long Island between 1904 and 1910 and the first in the United States.

The festivities will be on Saturday, April 26, from noon to 2:30 p.m.; the unveiling ceremony and a short program will be at 12:30 p.m. at the triangle mini-park at the intersection of Emerson Ave. and Jericho Tpke.

Emerson Ave., between Jericho Tpke. and Lowell Ave., will be closed at noon for the event.


Calendar

Women’s Club Membership Meeting

Wednesday, April 16

North End Civic Association To Meet

Thursday, April 17

Blood Drive

Friday, April 18



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com