‘Fiddler on the Roof’ opens at Paramount Theatre
Jim Corti at Paramount Theatre
‘Fiddler on the Roof’
Paramount Theatre, 23 E. Galena Blvd., Aurora
(630) 896-6666; paramountaurora.com
Updated: February 27, 2013 11:46AM
Jim Corti, the Paramount Theatre’s artistic director, knows that his view of how the classic musical “Fiddler on the Roof” should be presented may not be what most audience members are expecting.
“The design of this show will be different,” Corti said. “ ‘Fiddler’ is traditionally presented as a fable, with folksy charm. But this show really has more of a sense of hardship than of green trees and rolling hills. I’d say this is a nontraditional approach to a traditional show. You do not see the color immediately. The color comes from the richness of the music; the richness of the characters.”
“Fiddler on the Roof” will be presented March 6-24 at the Paramount Theatre in Aurora.
Set in Tsarist Russia in 1905, “Fiddler” takes place in the little village of Anatevka and tells the story of Tevye, a simple and loving milkman, who does everything he can to maintain his family and their religious traditions. Tevye has a loyal, yet independent wife, and five strong-willed daughters. The family must face an ever-changing political and social landscape and Tevye sees the safety and stability of his old world disappearing.
The show offers such songs as “Tradition,” “If I Were a Rich Man,” “Matchmaker, Matchmaker,” and “Sunrise, Sunset.”
“I find my way into a show by what historical sources I find,” Corti said. “In this case, I looked at the life of the people in Eastern Europe in 1905. And 1905 happens to be a violent, murderous period. It is not an accident that the authors chose to set the play in 1905. There was ominous danger on the horizon. The Russian Revolution was going on and there were many attacks against the Jews.
“But in this fictional town they are saying, ‘That is the outside world. We are not a part of that,’ Corti continued. “But they are evicted from their land. They are dealing with heavy circumstances. The show is built on that.”
Corti said that jokes and humor were part of how people of this period got through the strife.
“With Jewish people, finding the sense of humor, finding the whimsy was their way of surviving,” he said. “These people had resolve and backbone. They had a love of traditions. They felt, ‘This must be God’s will. We must go on.’ ”