‘Fiddler on the Roof’ revival to open Clark State PAC’s season Friday

The Clark State Performing Arts Center (PAC) is fiddling around, so to speak, to open its 2022-2023 season.

The Kuss Auditorium’s curtains will reopen for the first time in several months to present the national revival tour of “Fiddler on the Roof” at 8 p.m. Friday. The show is rescheduled from last season and will be the premier show on the new leg of the tour.

Tickets for the canceled performance will be honored and tickets are still available.

The Tony Award-winning “Fiddler on the Roof” has been a musical fixture for nearly 60 years. It tells the tale of Tevye, a Jewish milkman trying to find husbands for his three daughters while living in a small Russian village that cherishes its traditions while cultural changes threaten their way of life in the early 20th Century.

It spawned popular songs including “If I Were a Rich Man,” “Tradition, “Matchmaker, Matchmaker” and “To Life.”

“‘Fiddler on the Roof’ is a classic American musical and this is a newly reimagined show,” said the PAC’s Dan Hunt. “It’s minimalist with more emphasis on the story and has been well received. It’s exciting to have it start our season in October.”

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COVID-19-related circumstances caused the cancellation of the show’s original March 7 date here, but it came with not only a new date but a chance to continue another tradition, in keeping with the show’s theme.

The production will tech here for two weeks, preparing the sets, designs, getting sound down right and other procedures, and the cast will also rehearse. It’s becoming standard each fall for shows to use the PAC to tech in preparing for a new tour.

Hunt said the way the PAC is designed with a lot of stage space, the convenience of having the Courtyard by Marriott practically next door and airports close as reasons this is an ideal spot for productions to begin their runs. Around 60 cast, crew and orchestra will be here, putting money into the Springfield economy.

People visiting downtown restaurants or gathering places may rub shoulders with some of the visiting talent and not even know it.

“Being here in the Midwest is easier for shows to do this than in the bigger cites. It’s a little quieter and they can move around freely,” said Hunt.

The PAC doesn’t have any health-related restrictions on shows this season. Hunt said attendees are welcome to wear masks if they choose, but isn’t required.

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The PAC used CARES Act relief funds to upgrade its toilets and sinks to being touchless to help reduce the chance of spreading germs as well as continuing to clean and sanitize before and after shows.

Hunt said it will be nice to having the PAC buzzing with activity again after two tough years of pandemic-related uncertainties affecting its presentations.

“We’re really excited to start the season off with a bang with this classic. People are ready to go out again, so let’s bring everybody in here to see some great shows,” he said.

HOW TO GO

What: “Fiddler on the Roof”

Where: Clark State Performing Arts Center, 300 South Fountain Ave., Springfield

When: 8 p.m. Friday

Admission: $32-65

More info: pac.clarkstate.edu/shows/2022-2023-season

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