Principal actor shines in ‘Fiddler’ at college |

Principal actor shines in ‘Fiddler’ at college

by Sam Bauman
Appeal Staff Writer

If you’re going to stage a musical like “Fiddler on the Roof,” you’d better be sure that the actor who portrays Tevya is pretty darn good. This in many ways is a one-man show, and that may have to carry a lot of baggage.

In the case of the Western Nevada Musical Company’s production of “Fiddler,” director Stephanie Arrigotti picked the right man, Jim DeZerga. From the opening scene when Tevya proclaims that “Tradition” is what the village of Anatevka is all about, to the elegy-like closing scene as the village packs up to move, DeZerga is in command. He’s not DeZerga; he’s Tevya – eyes flaring, body alert.

This is not to demean any other member of the cast. It’s just that Tevya is the locomotive pulling the rest along.

Arrigotti is Tevya’s wife, Golde. We finally get to see and hear the muscle behind the theater company in action, and she’s delightful, even down to her “evil-eye” gestures and constant homage to God with a raised hand and pleasing voice.

The plot line is simple: How does Tevya handle the marriage of three of his five daughters? Those daughters are Lynette Brown as Tzeitel, who weds Pedro Rangel, as Motel; Rachel Jackson as Hodel, who marries Marcus Quiroga, as Perchik; and Ashleigh Patrell as Chava, who weds Gene Sitts, as Cossack Fredka. All are excellent.

The two younger sisters, Alice Sady and Emmy Heller, acquit themselves handsomely. As does the rest of the 60-person cast.

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This is a big musical with a small-but-fine orchestra reinforced by something called an OrchExtra, manipulated by actor Joshua Jessup, who also conducted the more-than-competent six-piece orchestra.

Others in supporting roles include John Vettel, Caitlin Papp, Warren Schader, Grant Baker, Arthur Solomon (nicely named, for a rabbi), David Middleton, Dave Anderson, Judyan Bolduc, Amy Sobel, Paul Stufkosky and Chris Willson as the fiddler on the roof. Don’t miss Secretary of State Dean Heller playing a Cossack; Emmy Heller is his daughter.

A special cheer for the seven men who danced in the wedding scene with bottles on their heads. Not a drop was spilled during all of their fancy stepping.

Gary Aldrich was acting coach to the leads, Gina Kaskie-Davis is choreographer, and Denise McMasters is costumer. Light operator is Lynn Heller, and Arrigotti is producer.

The music and lyrics are by Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick, and Joseph Stein wrote the book. Incidentally, these are almost all narrative songs telling a full story which might shock some younger listeners.

If you go

What: “Fiddler on the Roof”

When: Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.; Nov. 18-19 at 7:30 p.m. and Nov. 19 and 20 at 2 p.m.

Where: Carson City Community Center

Tickets: $18 general, $16 students and seniors, $14 youth 17 and under at Comma Coffee, 312 S. Carson St., and WNCC Performing Arts Office. Charge by phone at 445-4249

– Contact Sam Bauman at or 881-1236.