Thursday, May 28, 2009

Little Village, Little Town of Mine

This post has been a long time coming. This year mom invited the girls to participate in the Tollberry Theatre production of Fiddler on the Roof. She could do that 'cause she was the DIRECTOR. It seemed a perfect opportunity for my girls to participate in a theater production without quite as much time commitment (although it seemed like plenty!) I don't know if I can ever thank Mom enough for getting my girls involved.

The show itself was awe-inspiring. I saw three performances, and wished I could have seen the rest. It is so fun to see people you have known for twenty-odd years going on a stage and using all their talents to put on a beautiful and entertaining show. Especially when these are people who usually don't search out center stage. (Tom excepted, but he was MAGNIFICENT. Really, he ought to have been discovered by now, but let's keep him our little secret, shall we?) I loved seeing my dad and Brother Howard, the youth are so cute, and Marty Page?! Well, let's just say he's The Russian to us now. I don't know the woman who played Fruma Sara, but she was terrific. And I loved hearing Alyson play. The Russian dancers were amazing! I couldn't believe they could jump over each other like that!

The girls just loved participating with all of those kind people. The young girls took my daughters under their wing and made them feel very comfortable. Lauren really got into it, and by the last performance was accompanying Grandpa Innkeeper in every village scene possible. Elizabeth looked so beautiful in her headscarf and sang every word. Caroline's usual flighty nature was left outside the theater. She was a serious performer. If she was supposed to pretend to sweep, then her broom never held still. If she was supposed to freeze, then not a muscle moved. She wept at the Anatevka scene every single time. All three girls were very focussed even when not performing. They were never silly or giggly. They loved coming out and watching the scenes they weren't in, especially the dream scene and the bar scene.

For me, Sabbath Prayer is an especially moving scene. I think of my daughters and pray for them to be good mothers and wives, with husbands who will care for them. What a beautiful ritual to hear your parents praying for your future happiness.
The performances were amazing, but the Fiddler love didn't end there. When we got in the car on Sunday to go home, all the girls were still wearing their costumes. That was fun when we stopped for a bathroom break and we looked too much like a fundamentalist family for my comfort. After we returned home, the girls went off to school, where Lauren made a book about the entire play. She worked so hard on it. It will be in the cedar chest until I die, I love it so much. Caroline had the cd on permanent repeat while the girls were at school. That's seven hours, by the way! Sometimes she would even watch the movie the entire time they were gone. (She always skips the train station scene and the Anatevka scene. Act 2 is just too much for her sweet little soul to bear.) Liffy would change back into her costume almost immediately after getting home and the cd would start over from the beginning. We would all wake up singing a different song every day.

Mother's Day the girls organized a three-man performance on the deck. They had costumes, props, a canopy! They would change costumes for every scene, even switching around roles throughout. Lauren played Tevya. Her "Rich Man" was spot on. They even carried Caroline around on a chair during the wedding scene. Caroline played all the leaping Russians. Lauren was the Russian who tipped over a chair to start the dancing. They loved clanking mugs for "L'Chaim". Once again the girls were having a ball, but were totally serious. They had every detail worked out. Liffy was Grandma Zeitl and Fruma Sara and Golde for the dream scene. She was so cute! Matchmaker is probably their favorite, and Liffy did a great Zeitl with scarf over her head.

Memorial Day weekend found us at camp again; this time to see Uncle Joel return home from his mission. When we arrived at 11:00 pm, out came the canopy and the bag of costumes. Sunday afternoon the whole family was treated to a grand performance. Once again, they were all seriousness, and they did a bang-up job. This time they even had the original bed from the dream scene. How fun! They even let James get in on some of the tavern dancing. Poor Ronan got a little beat up, though, when James tried to bang mugs with him. Everyone was so impressed.

What an experience for my children. I hope that we will have more opportunities like it. I am so grateful to Mom and Dad for always providing lifelong memories for my children. Our lives would be completely different without you.


  1. This made me cry. What a wonderful experience for your girls.

  2. that first picture of the three girls is one of my favorite pictures of all time. i love it.