Arts and Entertainment

Western Washington Center for the Arts takes on 'Fiddler on the Roof'


Good fortunes to all, indeed, as the Western Washington Center for the Arts presents one of the mightiest, most immense, most intense and longest-running musicals of all time: "Fiddler on the Roof."

It opened last weekend to near sell-out crowds at the Port Orchard playhouse and will run through May 24 with curtains at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 5 p.m. Sundays.

While it's absolutely monumental musical theater, it's also show that could fall into that category of musical theater that even non-musical theater people can get into. That's because it's not your typical musical, longtime WWCA actor and director Liam Sanchez said, dressed in full yiddish butcher garb, sporting a thick, natural beard that makes him almost unrecognizable. Sanchez says he doesn't usually do musicals.

But "Fiddler" is different in that its story line and dialogue aren't merely a means of getting to the next big band stand, nor are the songs simply sugary stuffing. The story of Tevye the Milkman, his wayward daughters and his community evicted from Tsarist Russia, is easily one of the most emotive, evocative and utterly humane pieces of theater from the 20th century.

And it's all the more powerful within the close quarters of WWCA.

The little Port Orchard playhouse is packed to the gills with a multi-generational cast of more than 50 for the affair — with Carl Olson as Tevye, Leslie Engelhardt as his wife Golde and Danni Krehbiel as his disowned daughter Chava, all directed aptly by the musical theater master duo Jan and Bruce Ewen. It's massive musicals like these that seem to be WWCA's specialty.

Like they say, "It's tradition!"

"FIDDLER ON THE ROOF" plays through May 24 with curtains at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 5 p.m. Sunday at the WWCA playhouse, 520 Bay St. in Port Orchard. Tickets and more information, online at or by calling (360) 769-SHOW.

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