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‘Fiddler on the Roof’

MAPA presents a timeless story with an important message, as we navigate our constantly shifting world.

March 6, 2014
Maui Weekly

Tickets are selling quickly for the final two weekends of Maui Academy of Performing Arts' (MAPA) production of "Fiddler on the Roof," playing through Sunday, March 16, in the intimate Steppingstone Playhouse in Queen Ka'ahumanu Center in Kahului.

From the company that produced "Les Miserables" last summer, "Fiddler on the Roof" follows the story of Tevye, a poor milkman in 1905 Russia. His five strong-willed daughters test the limits of their father's faith and commitment to his traditional cultural values. Just like a fiddler on the roof, Tevye and his family live in a world off-balance, a world disintegrating under the weight of sweeping social change and political oppression in a country on the brink of revolution.

Although the story is set in Russia, the musical is so deeply ingrained in American culture--particularly American Jewish culture--that even if you've never seen the musical or the 1971 film, you'll probably feel like you have. Most of the songs have become icons, such as "Sunrise, Sunset," "Matchmaker," "If I were a Rich Man" and "Tradition."

Article Photos

Gary Shin-Leavitt plays Tevye the milkman in MAPA’s production of “Fiddler on the Roof,” running through Sunday, March 16, at MAPA’s Steppingstone Playhouse.

Director David C. Johnston, who also directed "Les Miserables," chose "Fiddler on the Roof" because he believes this timeless story has a particularly important message now, as we navigate the fast-paced changes in our constantly shifting world.

"The best theatre creates a shift in the way we think and feel about our own lives," said Johnston. "Fiddler inspires us to maintain our balance amidst this change without sacrificing our core beliefs. This show has a beautiful duality: we see a passionate joy for life running alongside a deep undercurrent of sadness. Ultimately it's a story about hope and the jubilant resiliency of the human spirit."

Johnston and set designer Caro Walker altered the layout of MAPA's Steppingstone Playhouse for this production to a theatre-in-the-round configuration. With audience seated on all four sides of the stage and with additional playing areas for the actors inside the audience sections, the separation between actor and audience is blurred.

Veteran actor Gary Shin-Leavitt plays Tevye, heading up a professional-caliber cast that also includes Peggy Harmon as Golde, Leighanna Locke as Tzeitel and Carolyn Wright as Yente the Matchmaker.

In addition to Johnston and Walker, the artistic team includes Andre Morissette (choreographer), Cheryl Lindley (music director), Kathleen Schulz (costume designer) and Kai Johnson (lighting designer).

Join the director and cast for AfterWords, free post-show talk story sessions immediately follow the Sunday matinee on March 9.

Advanced ticket purchase is highly recommended due to the intimacy of the theatre for this production. Seating is general admission.

Show times are Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. Tickets are $24 for adults, $22 for seniors and $18 for students. Tickets are available at and (808) 244-8760.



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