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Playhouse brings Fiddler to the stage
Playhouse Merceds production of The Fiddler on the Roof, which stars R.C. Essig as Tevya and Theresa Hong as Golde opens tonight for a three-week run. - photo by Photo Contributed

The 21st season of shows at Playhouse Merced is launching with a production of the iconic musical “The Fiddler on the Roof.”

The show opens at 7:30 p.m. tonight for a three-week run at Playhouse Merced.

Set in the fictional little Jewish village of Anetevka in 1905 Tsarist Russia, “The Fiddler on the Roof” interweaves a story of tradition and revolution. In the village traditions are law and marriages are arranged by the matchmaker, and have been for centuries, until Tevya and Golde’s five daughters begin to question this way of life. This, combined with the approaching Russian takeover, throws the small village into upheaval, making people reexamine these ancient traditions and reevaluate what’s really important. 

The musical features well-known songs such as “Tradition,” “Matchmaker, Matchmaker,” “If I Were A Rich Man,” and “Sunrise, Sunset,”

The show made its Broadway debut in 1964 and was the first show to pass the 3,000 performance mark. It held the record for the longest running Broadway show for 10 years. The successful Braodway run inspired a film adaption in 1971, which earned several Academy Award nominations.

The Playhouse Merced production is being directed by Rob Hypes, musically directed by Dennis Brown, choreographed by Noelle Chandler and stars R.C. Essig as Tevya and Theresa Hong as Golde. It also stars Melissa Beckwith as Tzeitel, Matt Capron as Motel, Stephanie Rogers as Hodel, Katie Bordona as Chava and Melissa Proietti as Yente.

The show will run through Sept. 14. Friday and Saturday shows are at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday shows are at 2 p.m.

Ticket prices are $22 for adults; $20 for seniors; $12 for students; and $10 for children. Purchase tickets by going online to, calling 725-8587, or visiting the box office at 452 West Main Street in downtown Merced, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.