Written by 6:30 am Aldersgate Methodist Church, Musical, Tustin, Uncategorized • One Comment

Fiddler on the Roof @ Aldergate Church in Tustin – Review

Written by Patrick Chavis 

Family, tradition, and moral values –no matter what culture or religion you subscribe to –these things are important. They appear in the Bible, the Torah, the Quran, and many more religious and cultural traditions worldwide. The stories may be different, but many lessons are very similar. Aldersgate Church in Tustin, California, a Methodist church by association — putting on the most famous Jewish musical of all time demonstrates their belief in this concept. Some may say it’s odd, but Aldergate doesn’t think so. 


Photo Courtesy: Aldergate Church

A little history: Fiddler on the Roof was at one time the longest-running show to hit Broadway for quite a while. Fiddler’s long reign on the great white way lasted until Grease came along. When Fiddler first came out, many people thought the production might be too Jewish for a mainstream audience and not Jewish enough for a Jewish one. Both were wrong –like any well-written story —Fiddler straddled the line of appealing to all demographics while staying true to its Jewish roots. The musical is based on a novel written in the 1800s about a Jewish dairyman named Tevye who has six troublesome daughters.

Fiddler on the Roof‘s plot doesn’t diverge much from the plot of its source material. Fiddler on the Roof is the story of Tevye, his wife, and their (now) five daughters surviving and adapting to the changes occurring in their poor Jewish community of Anatevka, a fictional town set somewhere in Russia. The story is told mainly from the perspective of Tevye, a poor dairy farmer who is forced to adapt to the rapid changes affecting his home, life, family, and, of course, traditions.

The story is comical and always moving. It talks about the importance of tradition and shows culture’s strength and beauty in so many different ways. It is also very vocal about the restrictions and dogma that can come from rigid thinking. Most of the play deals with Tevye’s ability to accept the changes in his life, even though they go against his beliefs.

The central theme of Fiddler is that there are many things to follow and believe in, but overall, a belief in love conquers all of them.


Photo Courtesy: Aldergate Church

The level of presence in their characters was surprisingly fluid throughout the night. The pairing of Ricardo Juarez (Tevye the Dairyman) and Maeve Foster (flawlessly playing his wife, Golde) is essential to this story. Foster plays the part with the authentic pacing and temperament I expect from her character. From my recollection,  “Do You Love Me” was the best piece in the show. Both Juarez and Foster act and sing this song with such feelings. Juarez delivers a confident and light-hearted performance of Tevye, which –at least from my perspective –makes his character a little more accessible to a younger audience. He’s pious for sure, but it’s with a sense of humor. 

Chava plays the daughters (Katy Denies), Hodel (Sydney Horner), Bielke (Ella Gibson), Tzeitel (Shelby Willingham), and Shprintze (Kendal Stuckenberg). They are all fantastic, especially Horner. Horner is wonderful in every song she performs —topping it off near the end of the show with “Far From The Home.” 

At points, the cast does come off stiff, and the pacing is a serious issue for certain characters. But overall, Aldergate’s rendition of Fiddler is an enjoyable night of theatre with hints of greatness sprinkled all over.

August 6 – 15, 2015




My Review
8.2 Overall
9.4 Users (2 votes)

Great performances
Stand-out actors

Well put together set and acoustics


Stiff at moments.
Pacing issues.

More musical instrument accompaniment


Aldergates rendition of Fiddler is an enjoyable night of theatre with hints of greatness sprinkled all over.

Set & Design9
What people say... 2 Leave your rating
Thought it was amazing
I'm not a big fan of musicals or plays, but I enjoyed this very much and thought everyone you was a part of the play did an amazing job and they all had amazing voices on the singing so I give everything a 10
August 9, 2015, 6:54 pm
Set & Design10
Aldersgate's Fiddler On The Roof
I have seen this musical several times now and I am amazed at the quality of the performances, costumes, their timing, and the entertainment value which I found so enjoyable. I loved the duets and I really enjoyed the "Bottle Dance" by the Russians. It was so much fun and well done. I would recommend this musical to all. See you there!
August 9, 2015, 6:49 pm
Set & Design8
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