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‘Fiddler on the Roof’ opens in Idaho Falls

“Fiddler on the Roof” is a family-friendly musical and was chosen by the group after it was denied a license to perform a tamed-down version of “Les Miserables.”

Steve Bird plays the leading role of Tevye. He had originally been cast as Javert in “Les Mis” before the producers were forced to switch to another show.

“I’m still a little bit sad – it would have been a whole lot of fun,” Bird said.

But Bird has come to appreciate the character of Tevye.

“I have been falling in love with the character and the story as I’ve been rehearsing,” Bird said.

So instead of singing “Stars” tonight, Bird will be singing “To Life.”

And instead of singing “Bring Him Home,” Jim Johnson, who was to have played Jean Valjean in “Les Mis,” will be singing “Miracle of Miracles.”

Instead of “Do You Hear the People Sing?” the chorus will be singing “Sunrise, Sunset.”

Lonna Joy Smoot, who plays Golde, says even though people may have seen “Fiddler” before, this production is worth seeing.

“There are different cast members, different chorus members and a different interpretation that goes along with it,” Smoot said.

Bird agrees it will be a unique, quality production.

“We worked really, really hard to try to make an emotional connection with the characters,” Bird said. “You know that experience when you’re watching something and you get those tingles and feel that emotion? We’re feeling that on stage, and so I think it will translate well to the audience.”

“Fiddler on the Roof” runs Friday, Saturday, Monday and Tuesday at the Civic Auditorium in Idaho Falls. It begins at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available through the Idaho Falls Arts Council and at the door.

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