L'chaim. L'chaim to life! And to the theatre.
The beloved classic "Fiddler on the Roof" is being brought to life this month by Pulaski County High School's students for their annual spring drama production.
"We picked this particular musical because we wanted to step out of the Disney box," said Jana Odom, drama instructor at Pulaski County High School.
The Broadway musical "Fiddler on the Roof," which debuted in 1964, by Jerry Bock, Sheldon Harnick and Joseph Stein, tells the story of Tevye the Dairyman, his wife, and their five daughters. Set in pre-revolutionary Ukraine, the musical presents themes such as struggles to maintain traditions and the tension between Jewish and Catholic residents in the village.
Musical numbers such as "To Life," "If I Were a Rich Man," "Tradition," "Sunrise, Sunset," and "Matchmaker, Matchmaker" have become iconic parts of modern artistic culture as a result of the production's popularity.
In the past, PCHS had tried Disney musical such as "Aladdin" and "The Little Mermaid," but Odom felt her students were ready for something even more ambitious.
"We still wanted to keep it -- pun intended -- traditional," she said.
She noted that she is working to build Pulaski's drama program, and a production like "Fiddler" offers something that's not only timeless but educational for students.
"They absolutely love it," she said. "We've done a little, not a lot but a little, but of learning about Jewish culture, Jewish food, the time period and the region."
The "good family theme running through the show" should appeal to audiences, noted Odom, and it's also been a show that brought out male actors, often a hard demographic to persuade into participation for a school musical.
"They really came out for this," she said. "It's a showcase for what the guys can do."
Public performances are Friday, March 15 and Saturday, March 16 at 7 p.m. in the Pulaski County High School auditorium. Tickets are $7 for adults and $5 for students, and will be available at the door.