UTEP Dinner Theatre brings back “Fiddler on the Roof”


Michaela Roman

The musical “Fiddler on the Roof,” will run at The UTEP Dinner Theatre from April 15 to May 8.

Mike Vasquez , Staff Reporter

The UTEP Dinner Theatre is preparing for the debut of “Fiddler on the Roof,” Broadway’s second longest-running musical behind “Grease.” The play will begin on April 15 at 8 p.m. and will run until May 8.

Based on Sholom Aleichem’s short stories, “Fiddler on the Roof” tells the story of Tevye, a family man with five daughters, all with names with way too little vowels, trying to earn a living as a milkman in early 20th century Russia. The action revolves around the social relationships between the town butchers, Tevye’s daughters and the family cow, proving that the show will be a cut and dry musical, a stark contrast to the explosive rock show that the Dinner Theatre produced with “Rock of Ages.”

Originally, the play won 10 Tony Awards including Best Musical. Some of plays most noticeable songs are “If I Were A Rich Man,” “Sunrise, Sunset,” and “Matchmaker, Matchmaker.” Jorge Blakely, who plays Fyedka, the play’s main character, is a senior at Franklin High School. Blakely said this production is an entirely different experience from when the UTEP Dinner Theatre first produced the play in the 1990s.

“I wasn’t born yet, but I heard and asked about it and everyone says that it was very different,” Blakely said. “I’m not sure how to tell you without giving some surprises away, but definitely different.”

Without prior knowledge of the musical’s success, it can be hard to see what the draw is. The plot summaries read more like a Dostoyevsky novel, and just reading the names off the character list begs for note taking. Clara Schlemeyer, sophomore advertising major, said this is the kind of show Broadway enthusiasts go to experience an actual musical.

“I’ve heard of the title, but now reading the plot, it’s like I’m going to see what Broadway is actually like more than going to listen to the music,” Schlemeyer said.

However, the cost of the dinner and show might continue to deter students away from the seats. With tickets topping off at $43, Oscar Saenz, a senior studying computer science, hesitates to click the checkout button.

“I get it. Sodexo food is expensive and they got to pay the electricity bill and all that,” Saenz said. “But it comes down to the chance of whether or not it will be my style of entertainment, and I know I’m not going to go alone, it’s a hard decision to make.”

While ticket prices might seem off the roof, it is important to keep in mind that actors in the show get compensation for the work they put into these productions.

Students may be more inclined to spend the money on a musical they associate with, such as last month’s “Rock of Ages” or last year’s “Westside Story.” For “Fiddler,” the theater will serve chicken jerusalem, wild rice, vegetables julienne, garden salad with house dressing, snowflake dinner rolls, coffee, iced tea and red velvet cake for dessert.

Tickets can be bought at the UTEP Ticket Center or online at ticketmaster.com.

For more information, call 747-6060. Mike Vasquez may be reached at [email protected]