“Lord, you made many many poor people. I realize, of course, it’s no shame to be poor... but it’s no great honor either,” Tevye says during one of the opening scenes of “Fiddler on The Roof,” on stage this week with Theater League Productions’ national tour. Although veteran viewers could recite Tevye’s witticisms by heart, cast member and East Valley resident Chuck Caruso believes this production is new and different enough to keep them engaged.
“While it is still true to the heart and soul of the score, I think there is enough originality that someone who has seen the show before will find enough new things to remain interested,” Caruso said.
Caruso, who understudies Lazar Wolf and plays Mordcha the Innkeeper, has made Chandler his home since coming to Arizona to work for the former Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre eight years ago.
“It’s a great town and the people are very friendly,” said Caruso. “There is so much out here hiding in the desert. There’s a good restaurant scene and a good art scene. No one who isn’t from here comprehends how huge this place is, but unlike larger cities like New York...you don’t feel so lost in it. There’s a little more of a laid back attitude here, so even though you’re in such a populated area you don’t feel smothered.”
This week Caruso’s cast mates get to experience that relaxed Valley vibe as the production plays Tuesday and Wednesday at Mesa Arts Center and continues through the weekend at the Orpheum Theatre in Phoenix.
Mesa Arts Center: 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 13. Mesa Arts Center, 1 E. Main St. $25-$65. (480) 644-6500 or www.mesaartscenter.com.
Orpheum Theatre: 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 14; 8 p.m. Friday, March 15; 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday, March 16; and 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Sunday, March 17. Orpheum Theatre, 203 W. Adams St., Phoenix. $49.30-$75.35. (800) 745-3000 or http://theaterleague.com.