Tradition or Love?


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Sometimes an audience needs lots of flash and pomp to feel engaged in a musical. But PPAC’s Fiddler on the Roof, onstage through Sunday night, requires none of it. A simple set serves as a backdrop for standout vocal performances by the stars and supporting cast alike.

Based on the stories of Sholom Aleichem, Fiddler on the Roof tells the tale of Tevye, a poor milkman who struggles to negotiate the place of tradition in modern life. Much of the action comes to a head over Tevye’s three eldest daughters and their choice to reject the town’s marital traditions and pick their own partners, men they would truly be happy with.

Jimmy Ferraro is an excellent Tevye, as he rightfully should be. He’s starred in national and international Fiddler tours since 1981. Ferraro’s Tevye is simultaneously a doting father, a disciplinarian and a buffoon, and the audience loves every minute of it. During his energetic final bow, Ferraro had the audience on its feet in a standing ovation.

Opposite Ferraro is Dee Etta Rowe, who plays family matriarch, Golda. Rowe’s sweet-sounding, clear solos were amongst the best of the night. What’s more, the couple’s bickering sounds like the real thing – and it probably is. Like Tevye and Golda, Rowe and Ferraro celebrated their twenty-fifth wedding anniversary this year. Scroll down for a video interview and a capella performance by the couple.

Catch performances on Saturday, November 24 at 2 and 8 p.m. and Sunday, November 25 at 1 and 6:30 p.m. Call PPAC's box office at 421-2747 or stop by the theater to purchase tickets before the show at 220 Weybosset St., Providence. Tickets are $36–$63. Visit ppacri.org for more information.

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