A magical Fiddler on the Roof

A week before opening night of Ransom Everglades' production of Fiddler on the Roof, Joshua Hertz '20 learned he would play the lead role. He had seven days to master extensive dialogue, monologues, musical solos and dances for the Nov. 21-23 performances at the Lewis Family Auditorium.

By all accounts, Hertz was up to the task.
Hertz’s herculean effort as Tevye led RE’s talented cast in an emotional, engaging rendition of the classic musical that was dedicated to Carlos Prio-Touzet ’20, who had been forced to bow out of the production because of illness.

“Everyone did a great job – it was a great effort,” Hertz said after opening night. “What I did, I couldn’t have done without everyone else, and we were all doing it for Carlos.”

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The cast supported Prio-Touzet, who was hospitalized with pneumonia, by staying in touch with him throughout, and putting forth a stellar effort in his honor. Released from the hospital in time for the final performance, Prio Touzet received a rousing welcome from the cast – and audience – after everyone took their final bows. 

Abby Aldrich ’20, Tevye’s wife, and Zoe Holtzman ’22, Natasha Rodriguez ’23 and Jessica Weinstein ’22 – three of Tevye’s daughters – and Viviana Freyer ’20, the matchmaker, supported Hertz on stage, and elevated the performances.

Hertz had been originally cast as Mendel – a minor character.

Before rehearsal on Nov. 14, the show’s director Sam Shapiro and technical director Quincy Knowles pulled Hertz aside and informed him of his new role. A member of the RE Guitar Ensemble and Rock 4 RElief who had little drama experience, Hertz admitted to feeling a surge of panic.

“I was nervous,” he said. “My heart started racing.”

He spent the coming days pulling the equivalent of a musical theatre all-nighter, running through the script with his parents, listening to the Fiddler music in the car, practicing every spare moment.

Carlos’ sister, Alexandra Prio-Touzet ’21 – one of Tevye’s daughters – was instrumental in helping Hertz learn his lines. They jointly recorded the entire play with space for him to insert his speaking and singing parts.

By the time Ian Barnett ’23 opened the musical on Nov. 21 with his fiddling on the roof of a delightful set, everyone was – somehow – ready to go.

Here’s a look at the cast and contributors, which included live musicians under the direction of performing arts director Jon Hamm.

Golde, Abigail Aldrich ’20
Lazar Wolf, Ricky Andrade ’21
Mendel, Madeleine Bagnall ’21
Sasha, Sol Cuello-Robert ’22
Constable/Rifka/Yussel, Megan Diston ’21
Avram, Cameron Franklin ’22
Yente, Viviana Freyer ’20
Perchik, Eli Goldman ’22
Tevye, Joshua Hertz ’20
Hodel, Zoe Holtzman ’22
Fruma Sarah/Shaindel, Jamie Lockhart ’21
Rabbi, Ana Martin ’22
Fyedka/Nahum, Nicolas Maynulet ’23
Shprintze, Alexandra Prio-Touzet ’21
Chava, Natasha Rodriguez ’23
Grandma Tzeitel/Mordcha, Viviana Vela ’21
Bielke, Celeste Viana ’22
Tzeitel, Jessica Weinstein ’22
Motel, Matthew Zide ’22
Conductor/Mandolin, Mr. Jon Hamm
Percussion, Mr. Murph Aucamp
Violin/Fiddler, Ian Barnett ’23
Trumpet 1, Mr. Daniel Calkins ’15
Trombone, Austin Charlton ’20
Reed 2, Anthony Goyanes ’20
Bass, Ms. Pierina Hidalgo
Reed 1, Ms. Carol Naveira
Guitar, Mr. Sandy Poltarack
Trumpet 2 Victoria Porto ’22
Violin, Megan Sabates ’22
Keyboard, Ms. Rosa Scott
Cello, Dr. Kristine Stump
Synthesizer, Shang Wang ’22
Director/Choreographer, Ms. Sam Shapiro
Technical Director, Mr. Quincy Knowles
Assistant Technical Director/Set Designer, Ms. Florencia Ancewicz
Stage Manager, Kathleen Stanton-Sharpless ’22
Graphic Designer, Ms. Suzanne Kores
Photography: Mr. Carl Kafka, Ms. Suzanne Kores
Christine Caldera ’20
Felipe Clavijo ’21
Cecilia Granda-Scott ’22
Mark Mateo ’22
Magnus Oberg ’21
Emma Quintane ’23
Connor Sahs ’20
Shelby Sanders ’21
Catie Tohulka ’21
Willa Tom ’20

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Founded in 1903, Ransom Everglades School is a coeducational, college preparatory day school for grades 6 - 12 located on two campuses in Coconut Grove, Florida. Ransom Everglades School produces graduates who "believe that they are in the world not so much for what they can get out of it as for what they can put into it." The mission of Ransom Everglades School is to provide an educational environment in which the pursuit of honor, academic excellence and intellectual growth is complemented by concern for the physical, cultural and character development of each student. The school provides rigorous college preparation that promotes the student's sense of identity, community, personal integrity and values for a productive and satisfying life, and prepares the student to lead and to contribute to society.