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The Blue & Gray Press | February 23, 2018

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'Fiddler' Comes to Riverside Center

By RACHEL PASSAR

You can go to a party or drink yourself into a stupor downtown on any given weekend, but if you’re looking for a change in your nightly entertainment a musical might prove to be just what you’re looking for. If you’re looking to enjoy a dinner theater than the Riverside Center Dinner Theater should absolutely be on your radar.

Recently the Riverside Center Dinner Theater put on a production of “Fiddler on the Roof.” Based on the works of writer Shalom Aleichem, this brilliant musical tells the story of a poverty-stricken Jewish man named Tevye who lives in the small village of Anatevka. Tevye values tradition above all else, and he struggles to maintain them in the rapidly changing world that is Czarist Russia during the early 1900s.

Originally performed on Broadway, this sensational production finally trickled down to the Riverside Center Dinner Theater here in Fredericksburg.

Though perhaps significantly smaller than theaters you might find in New York City, Riverside provides a unique and intimate atmosphere for members of the audience.

As its name suggests, not only does it offer entertainment, but it also supplies viewers with an evening meal before the performance. On the menu were dishes that included grilled ham with pineapple with brown sugar glaze, honey-kissed barbeque chicken quarter, seafood casserole, and three-cheese ravioli in vegetable alfredo sauce.

While all sounding deliciously delectable, I was led astray. What I thought would be a delightful, mouthwatering meal was in reality, quite disappointing.

Thankfully, the performance made up for it all. Starring James E. Lawson in the title role of Tevye, this rendition of “Fiddler on the Roof” is certainly one to be remembered. It included famous musical numbers like “Tradition,” “Matchmaker,” “To Life,” and “Sunrise Sunset.”

The actors’ first-rate singing and dancing really brought the story of Tevye to life! Although a minor blunder was made during one of the dance numbers, the actors forged onwards despite the faux pas. A phenomenal performance was delivered.

While giddy at the thought of having a new venue to spend my weekends at, the downside was the cost.

The tickets range from $37 to $58, and while a college student might not have $50 to spare, it is well worth the experience.

So although I may have to save my pennies for a couple of weeks, visiting the Riverside Center Dinner Theater will definitely be a place I will venture to again.