Aspen’s ‘Fiddler’ a downvalley affair |

Aspen’s ‘Fiddler’ a downvalley affair

Carol BayleySpecial to the Post Independent
Paul Conrad/The Aspen Times

ASPEN – Aspen Community Theatre’s fall production, “Fiddler on the Roof,” is truly a downvalley family affair.In the Tony Award-winning musical, opening next week at the Aspen District Theatre, Pat Holloran, of Carbondale, stars as Tevye, the rich bass/baritone voice on the popular “If I Were a Rich Man” and other memorable songs from the show.After performing at dinner theaters on the Front Range, Holloran spent time in New York City, where he appeared on All My Children and Saturday Night Live. He is best known for his satirical writing and the creation of memorable characters such as Dr. Jack Kevorkian and Coffee Man at The Crystal Palace in Aspen.After directing two back-to-back musicals for ACT, “My Fair Lady” and “Mame,” he appeared on stage as Clarence the angel in Theatre Aspen’s production of “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

Holloran lives in Carbondale with wife Muffie (Mary) Holloran, a music teacher at Basalt Elementary School and their two children, Nick and Dan. Together they co-directed three musicals for high school students from Carbondale and Basalt – “Hello Dolly,” “Little Mary Sunshine” and “Gypsy.”Muffie has directed for Roaring Fork High School and performed in dinner theaters and with national touring companies. She was the assistant director for ACT’s “The Wizard of Oz” in 2000.”Fiddler” is also an on-stage reunion for Pat Holloran and his longtime friend, Jeff James-Schlepp, who stars as Lazar, the butcher. The two first met while performing at the Boulder Dinner Theatre more than 20 years ago, then went on to work together at The Crystal Palace in Aspen.A graduate of The American Academy of Dramatic Arts in NYC, Jeff has appeared at dinner theaters, Theatre in the Park and CMC, and has directed numerous productions for The Defiance Community Players in Glenwood Springs and at Colorado Rocky Mountain School, where he is the theater director on campus. His fall production of “Cinderella” opens on Dec. 7 at the CRMS Barn.

His wife, Lynnette Schlepp, Shaindel in “Fiddler,” directed “Kiss Me Kate” for the Defiance Community Players, has worked on Aspen High School productions, and was the musical director and choreographer under Jeff’s direction for two productions at CRMS, “Guys and Dolls” and “Grease.”The Schlepps met while working at the Wayside Inn Dinner Theater on the Front Range. Lynnette moved to Aspen, where Jeff had been working at The Crystal Palace, on a Thursday and by the weekend, Jeff and Lynnette had auditioned for ACT’s “Annie Get Your Gun.” It was the beginning of a special relationship with Aspen Community Theatre that spans 15 shows. Jeff and Lynnette live in Basalt and have four children; Austin, Trevor, Jared, and Taylor, a senior at Aspen High School.Other downvalley cast members include Amy Chevalier, Hector Lopez, Leeza Monge, Alana Monge and Jaynie Muir.

Rich in historical and ethnic detail, “Fiddler on the Roof” has touched audiences around the world with its humor, warmth and honesty. Its universal theme of tradition cuts across barriers of race, class, nationality and religion, leaving audiences crying tears of laughter, joy and sadness.The setting for the musical is the small Jewish village of Anatevka, Russia, in 1905 and is concerned primarily with the efforts of Tevye, a dairyman, his wife, Golde, and their five daughters to cope with their harsh existence under Tsarist rule.Written by Joseph Stein with music by Jerry Bock, the musical earned nine Tony Awards, including one for best musical. Norman Jewison’s 1971 film adaptation earned three Academy Awards. Songs from the musical include “If I Were a Rich Man,” “Sunrise, Sunset” and “Matchmaker, Matchmaker.”Performances run Nov. 1-4 and Nov. 8-11 at 7 p.m., with 2 p.m. matinees on Sundays, Nov. 5 and 12. Tickets are $18 adults for evening performances, and $16 for matinees. Children’s tickets (12 and under) are $14 for evenings and $12 for matinees. Tickets can be purchased at the Wheeler box office, 920-5770.

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