Saint Michael's Playhouse opens June 18 with Fiddler on the Roof

By: Buff Lindau

fiddler on the roof cast

Tevye and his family, played by L to R, Gabrrielle Stravelli, Lisa Raggio, Ted Koch, Lia Menaker, and Elana Valastro.

"I've wanted to produce Fiddler on the Roof for as long as I can remember and feel that now is the perfect time for this rich, beautiful story to be told again," said Chuck Tobin, producing artistic director of the Saint Michael's Playhouse. Fiddler, playing Saint Michael's Playhouse June 18-29, is based on "Tevye and his Daughters" by Sholem Aleichem with music by Jerry Bock, lyrics by Sheldon Harnick, book by Joseph Stein.

Set in Czarist Russia in 1905, Fiddler is the heartwarming story of Tevya, a Jewish milkman trying to maintain the simplicities of his traditional life while his daughters are growing up and Russia is heading toward the Revolution.

"People who've seen Fiddler before want to see it again; people who've never seen it want to see it for the first time, and it's a great way to introduce children to the magic of American musical theater," Tobin said. "No other music weaves dance, poignancy and laughter into such an electrifying and unforgettable experience."

Director Kathryn Markey said, "This is a tremendous opportunity to direct a huge cast (31 total) in a show that has some of the greatest musical numbers and most memorable characters ever written for the musical theater. "Fiddler"'s enduring appeal comes from the fact that despite being set in a Jewish community in pre-revolutionary Russia, it tells a truly universal story of families trying to stay together in a radically changing world."

Playhouse accolades:
Saint Michael's Playhouse, now in its 66th season, is an award-winning professional theater recognized by NYC Drama League as "one of the best regional theater companies in America," and named "Best of New England" by Yankee Magazine.

Cast and crew:

Tobin announced the cast of Fiddler--led by Broadway veterans Ted Koch as Tevye; Lisa Raggio as Golde, and Suzanne Toren as Yente. Additional cast members are Gabrielle Stravelli as Tzeitel; Lia Menaker as Hodel; Elly Valastra as Chava, Andrew Boza as Motel; Cooper Grodin as Perchik; Adam Petherbridge as Fyedke; and Mark Alan Gordon as Lazar Wolf.

Other members of the cast are Bill Carmichael as Avram; John Jensen as the Rabbi; Christian Kohn as the Constable; and Charlotte Munson as Fruma Sarah. The company will also feature Josh Bardier, Christophe Caballero, Gina Fearn, Xavier Markey-Smith, Katie Owens, Matt Pardo, Paul Sabala, and Nate Venet. And, Peter Bowley, Max Chlumecky, Victoria Fearn, Pearl Guerriere, Stella Pappas, Caitlin Walsh, and Oscar Williams.

The band is comprised of area musicians Rich Magnuson, Tony Pietricola, Justin Rose, Emma Sky, Nate Venet, led by music director Scott Nicholas.

Director Markey is joined by choreographer Brian Swasey, and music director Scott Nicholas. Other members of the creative team include scenic designer Tim Case, costume designer Jessica Risser-Milne, and lighting designer John Paul Devlin.

Leading roles:

Ted Koch (Fiddler, Tevye) Broadway credits include The Pillowman, Death of a Salesman (50th Anniversary Production), Elling, and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. National tours include Frost/Nixon and Death of a Salesman.  Off-Broadway/Regional credits include: Strange Interlude (Shakespeare Theatre Company) Donnybrook! (Irish Rep.) Born Yesterday, (Pittsburgh Public) In This, Our Time (59E59) Snow Falling on Cedars (Hartford Stage) Meshugah (Naked Angels), The Front Page (Williamstown Theatre Festival), True West, (Arena Stage, Helen Hayes nomination for Best Actor), A Streetcar Named Desire (Buffalo Studio Arena), Whisper House, (The Old Globe Theatre) Death of a Salesman (The Goodman Theatre) TV credits include: Person of Interest, The Good Wife, Pan Am, Gossip Girl, The Sopranos, The West Wing, Law & Order, Ed. Films include: Cold Souls, Hannibal, Love to Leenya, Dinner Rush. Ted dedicates this performance to his big sister Peg who always manages to keep our family connected, and our Traditions going strong.

Lisa Raggio (Fiddler, Golde) began her career performing in some of New York's finest nightclubs. On Broadway:  The Magic Show, Grease, and Got Tu Go Disco. She has toured Canada & the US in Grease, Annie, Suds, and Lunch. In Los Angeles: Women Behind Bars, The Joni Mitchell Project, and her one-woman show, Back 2 my Roots. Lisa was a series regular on "Private Benjamin" and has also appeared on numerous TV shows. Last year she had the pleasure of performing in the show, Bingo, in Sacramento, CA. She just appeared in Nunsense at Northern Stage. At St. Michael's, she has appeared in Something's Afoot and Steel Magnolias and is thrilled to be returning to the Playhouse. She holds an MA in Psychology & Counseling and can be reached at Lisa and her husband, Ken Kimmins, live in the Champlain Islands with their two boys: Tony Soprano and McJagger.

Suzanne Toren (Fiddler, Yente) On Broadway: created a role in Goodbye, Fidel, starring Jane Alexander. Off-Broadway: created many roles, from Queen of Aragon (The Disputation) to Mama (From Door to Door),to impassioned lawyer (star of Denial), to  Grandma Royze in Sin , by I.B. Singer. National tours: with such luminaries as Sir Ralph Richardson (Early Days); Richard Kiley (Cervantes); Tammy Grimes, Louis Jourdan (Private Lives).Regional credits include: Paper Mill Playhouse  (Great Expectations, A Tale of Two Cities) ; Philadelphia Drama Guild (A View from the Bridge); Pennsylvania Stage Company (Brighton Beach Memoirs); Syracuse Stage (The Seagull); Meadowbrook Theatre (The Crucible, Heartbreak House, Tartuffe).T.V.: Law and Order. Suzanne is also a multi-award-winning narrator of hundreds of audio books— receiving her third Audie award nomination just last month.

Kathryn Markey (Fiddler, Director) Playhouse appearances include Nunsense, The Drowsy Chaperone, the Brighton Beach trilogy, Perfect…Change, Pirates of Penzance and Suds, as well as directing Over The Pub,  Boeing, Boeing and Around the World in 80 Days. Other credits: Holidays with The Chalks, (Alliance Theatre), Over The Tavern (Penguin Rep), Parallel Lives, Dancing at Lughnasa (Northern Stage), Selected Shorts: Eudora Welty (NPR), Jumping Blind (Gayfest – world premiere), Separation (English Theatre of Stockholm.) Kathryn appeared on Broadway in 3 From Brooklyn and is a fixture at both the Broadway Playhouse series at Merkin Concert Hall and The Thalia Follies at Symphony Space. On-screen: SVU, Law and Order, All My Children, College Humor & Amateur Hour. Directing:  Boeing Boeing (Mason Street Warehouse), Fiddler on the Roof, & Carousel (New London Barn), Ragtime (White Plains PAC), David & Goliath (Merkin Hall.) Kathryn is one-third of the satirical country band "The Chalks," appearing regularly in bars, on TV and the internet.

Tickets and Information:

Saint Michael's Playhouse has been producing professional theater since 1947 and is located in Colchester, Vermont minutes from downtown Burlington and Lake Champlain. For more information and tickets, visit or call 802-654-2281.

Ticket prices $31.50 – $42.50: Subscription packages are on sale throughout the run of Fiddler on the Roof and are offered at a discount of 20% off the single ticket prices.

Rest of the 2013 Season:

Based on the best-selling novel, Tuesdays with Morrie, July 3 - 13, 2013, By Jeffrey Hatcher and Mitch Albom, directed by Broadway veteran Kenneth Kimmins, Evenings: 8:00 p.m. July 3–6, 9–13, Matinees: 2:00 p.m. July 6 &13

"Tuesdays with Morrie is a powerful, humorous and deeply moving story about learning to appreciate life while you are living it. When his former Brandeis professor is diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's Disease, a career-obsessed sportswriter plans a brief visit to reconnect and say goodbye. That meeting becomes a weekly event, as teacher coaches student on matters of life, death and the nature of love."

Neil Simon's hilarious comedy, Rumors, July 17 - 27, 2013, directed by Thomas Ouellette, Evenings: 8:00 p.m. July 17–20, 23–27, Matinees: 2:00 p.m. July 20, 27

"Four well-to-do couples gather in a tastefully appointed residence for a dinner party celebrating their hosts' anniversary. But when they arrive, they discover there is no dinner prepared, the hostess is missing, and the host, who is also the deputy mayor of New York City, has been shot. When the guests decide they need to do everything possible to conceal the evening's events from the local police and the media, the evening spins off into classic farcical hilarity."

The sensational new blockbuster, Shout!  the mod musical, July 31 - August 10, 2013, directed by Playhouse favorite Keith Andrews, Evenings: 8:00 p.m. July 31 - August 3, 6–10, Matinees: 2:00 p.m. August 3, 10

"Shout! is the mod musical that brings back the smashing sounds that made England swing in the 60's. From cover to cover, Shout! travels in time from 1960 to 1970 chronicling the dawning of a new era. Everything in the period is recreated, from the fashions and dances to the music and hair. With an irresistible blend of foot-stomping songs, eye-popping fashions and psychedelic dances, this delightful musical will make you want to stand up and Shout!"

Playhouse background:

The Saint Michael's Playhouse is housed in the Saint Michael's College McCarthy Arts Center, one of the finest theater facilities in the state; the Playhouse attracts approximately 16,000 theatergoers each season.

Saint Michael's Playhouse is a professional company operating as an auxiliary enterprise of Saint Michael's College. The Playhouse is Greater Burlington's only Actors' Equity resident theater company and as such operates under contract with Actors' Equity Association in New York City. At the same time, Saint Michael's College students have the opportunity to learn from the pros through internships in technical theater, costuming, lighting, set construction, and publicity.

Learn What Matters