BAY RIDGE — Catholic school children will be bringing a classic story about Jews in Russia circa 1905 to life when they perform in a highly-anticipated student show.
Talented students in Saint Patrick Catholic Academy’s Theater Club will perform “Fiddler on the Roof Jr.,” a youth-oriented adaptation of the 1964 Tony Award-winning Broadway musical that starred the legendary Zero Mostel as Tevye, the poor milkman.
The junior version of “Fiddler on the Roof” will be presented on Saturday, Feb. 8 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. and Sunday, Feb. 9 at 2 p.m. at St. Patrick’s Aldo Bruschi Auditorium, Fourth Avenue and 97th Street.
The original “Fiddler on the Roof” featured a book by Joseph Stein, with music by Jerry Bock and lyrics by Sheldon Harnick.
The kids’ show has been shortened from the original Broadway production, but the gist of the story centering on Tevye, his wife Golde and his daughters trying to hold onto their Jewish traditions amid major changes in Russia is still the focus, according to Denise Higgins-Regan, the director.
“The story is age-appropriate. It’s about tradition, family life and cohesiveness,” Higgins-Regan told the Home Reporter.
The school paid an $800 royalty fee to the company that handles the licensing for “Fiddler on the Roof Jr” in order to bring the show to Bay Ridge.
Higgins-Regan, a charter member of Narrows Community Theater, is getting a helping hand from Dawn Hansen, another NCT member, in the production.
The production grew out of a workshop Higgins-Regan conducted with the students in September.
The main reason to have the St. Patrick students perform the play is the important lesson it teaches, Higgins-Regan said.
“There is history behind it. There are lessons taught. There are morals behind it,” she said. “The children are learning about what Russian Jews endured. It shows how Jewish people were thrown out of their homes.”
During rehearsals, Higgins-Regan and Hansen have encouraged the young performers to understand the meaning behind the dialogue and the songs.
For ticket information for “Fiddler on the Roof Jr.,” visit: firstname.lastname@example.org.