Nine-time First Night Award-winner Martha Wilkinson directs Derek Whittaker, Debbie Kraski and a cast of Nashville's stage favorites in the Chaffin's Barn Dinner Theatre production of Fiddler on the Roof, opening tonight, May 31, and running through July 8 at the theater in West Nashville.
Longtime Chaffin's Barn favorite Derek Whittaker stars as the beleaguered dairyman Tevye, with Debbie Kraski as his long-suffering wife Golde in the much-anticipated revival of the classic musical.
Fiddler on the Roof, a musical comedy with music by Jerry Bock, lyrics by Sheldon Harnick and a book by Joseph Stein, based on the collected stories of Sholom Aleichem, tells the story of Tevye, his wife Golde, their daughters and their suitors, along with the rest of the villagers in Anatevka, the Russian hamlet where they have lived for years after centuries of pogroms.
With Wilkinson, artistic director for Chaffin's Barn Dinner Theatre, is joined on the production team by music director Jaclyn Brown (who does double-duty, playing Fruma Sarah), with choreography by Holly Shepherd.
Filled with a rousing, heartwarming score-which includes "Tradition," "Matchmaker, Matchmaker," "If I Were A Rich Man" and "Sunrise, Sunset"-Fiddler on the Roof is a timeless classic and one of musical theater's most often-performed works, weaving together music, dance, heart-tugging poignancy and raucous laughter.
Wilkinson's cast includes, in addition to Whittaker, Kraski and Brown, Daron Bruce, Erica Cantrell, Luke Denison, Brian Fisk, Liz Kalota, Amanda Lamb, Zack McCann, Jennifer Richmond, Mia Rose, Will Sevier and Anwen Wilkerson (as The Fiddler).
Martha Wilkinson is a nine-time First Night Award-winning actress for her work in musical theatre. She was selected by the Tennessean and the Nashville Scene as Best Actress for her work as Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd. She was also selected by Nashville Scene's "Best of..." as part of 2011's best ensemble performance for Tennessee Rep's The 39 Steps. Wilkinson brings more than 25 years of professional experience in performance and directing.
Wilkinson received her training from Berry College, North Carolina School Of The Arts and The ALLIANCE THEATRE in Atlanta. She has performed locally with Chaffin's Barn Dinner Theatre, Nashville Children's Theatre, Tennessee Repertory Theatre, Mockingbird Public Theatre, Tennessee Shakespeare Festival and Nashville Shakespeare Festival, and she has directed locally for People's Branch, Community Sprit Inc. and most recently directed Avenue Q for Street Theatre Company.
Musical director Jaclyn Brown is a Nashville native, who holds a degree in Studio Vocal Performance from the University of Miami. Paper Doll, her fourth release (2011 Silver Nitrate Music), features 15 oF Brown's original songs, several of which were co-written with popular names on Music Row. (This CD is available for purchase during the run of Fiddler on the Roof in the lobby.) Growing up in Nashville with a session pianist for a father, Brown had opportunities to sing with and learn from artists like Brenda Lee, Boots Randolph, Kathy Mattea and Jamie O'Neal. In college Brown worked for country singer Lari White and hit songwriter Chuck Cannon, and later for songwriting legend Darrell Scott.