Q&A with Lauren Nedelman from ‘Fiddler on the Roof’

“Fiddler on the Roof” is a show well-known by audiences of all ages. It has been on the stage for more than 40 years, and now it’s coming to ASU Gammage. The show will run from March 29 to April 3. Lauren Nedelman, who will be playing the role of Tzeitel, spoke to The State Press about her favorite parts of the show, her audition experience and her dream roles.

The State Press: Is it neat to go out on stage every night and sing iconic songs such as “If I Were a Rich Man” and “Matchmaker, Matchmaker”?

Lauren Nedelman: Yeah, sometimes I wake up in the morning, and I’m just like “I’m on a national tour!” Sometimes it just dawns on me again, and I can’t believe it myself. Even right now talking about it, I’m like, “I’m on a national tour right now? This is great …” Every day I’m just so grateful that I get to be doing this.

SP: What is your favorite part of the show?

LN: I have a couple. “Matchmaker” is one of my favorite parts, because I get to sing with my sisters, and I play the role of Tzeitel, and I play the eldest daughter. And then my second favorite part is the wedding [where] we have the bottle dance, and these boys are phenomenal every night. They actually dance with a bottle on their head, and they’re not velcroed, they’re not glued onto their hats. They’re literally balancing these bottles on their hats.

SP: How long did they have to practice that?

LN: They practiced a lot, but we had a great director. Our director, Sammy Dallas Bayes, actually was in the original production of “Fiddler on the Roof,” and he got tapped on the shoulder by Jerome Robbins who was the original choreographer and director of “Fiddler,” so everything you’re going to see is the original choreography, original blocking, music —everything is a blast from the past from when it came onto the stage on Broadway in 1964.

SP: Had you seen it before you were cast?

LN: No, I haven’t seen it. I’ve seen the movie before, but what I think is interesting is when my mom was little, her first show that she ever saw on stage was “Fiddler on the Roof” when she was about 7 years old. And now she’s seeing her daughter in it, which I think is crazy, but I’ve yet to see it on stage. I’ve just been in it.

SP: Is there a dream show that you would love to be in someday?

LN: I love “Sweeney Todd.” I would love to be Mrs. [Nellie] Lovett one day ... And this musical was on the list for me. I was like, “I want to be in ‘Fiddler.’ I want to be Tzeitel. I know I could play this part.” So, I’m just living the dream now.

SP: It’s a pretty iconic role. Was it intimidating going into it just out of college?

LN: I feel like my school definitely prepared me, how to handle myself in an audition and how to really touch in to myself and bring all that I can bring into an audition room, acting-wise … When I read the breakdown of Tzeitel, I was like, “That is me in a couple sentences right there. I need to go in for this role.” And I took the bus from Boston to New York, and I waited in line with about 5 or 600 other girls, and I got seen, and I got called back, and the rest is history.

SP: How do you enjoy all the costumes and the set?

LN: The sets and the costumes are just impeccable … They’re just so beautiful and so period that it really helps bring the show alive, to not us actors, but to the audience as well.

Tickets can be purchased online at asugammage.com, over the phone by calling 1-800-982-ARTS (2787) or in person by visiting the ASU Gammage box office.

Reach the reporter at mmattox@asu.edu


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