‘Fiddler on the Roof’ opens Friday at FLHS

A “Match” in real life, Paul and Brenda Brown of Forest Lake are key players in “Fiddler on the Roof,” a summer musical performed by Masquers Theatre which opens Friday night at Forest Lake High School.

The husband-wife team are integral components in the production as Paul Brown plays Tevye. Brenda Brown is directing the pit orchestra.

“Brenda and I really enjoy theater,” Paul Brown said. “I played the role of Tevye 15 years ago for a community theater in Valley City, ND. My wife was the musical director and our two sons were also part of the cast.

“It has been my dream to once again play the part of Tevye. The role reminds me how things change over the years and how we adjust to a changing world around us.”

The Masquers’ production marks Paul Brown’s third time performing in “Fiddler on the Roof.”  He played the part of Lazer Wolf in high school.

Evenings have been filled with hours of practicing during the week as Tevye, his stage family, and the rest of the cast and pit orchestra put all the final pieces together before opening night on Friday, July 6.

Wife’s Queues

Tevye will be looking for queues from his match in real life, Brenda Brown, who has over 25 years of experience performing, teaching music and conducting.

Although she has directed shows such as “Mame,” “Pippin,” “Nunsense,” and “Fiddler on the Roof,” this is her first time as musical director for Masquers Theatre.

She keeps a busy schedule teaching music lessons at Faith Lutheran’s Music Academy as well as being active in various music groups for Faith Lutheran Church in Forest Lake.

The Browns intentionally avoided Masquers productions when they first moved to Forest Lake for fear they would catch the “theater bug.” But when Masquers produced “Oliver” four years ago, Paul Brown was drawn in, auditioned for the part of Mr. Bumble and got in.

Since then, he has been one of the brothers in “Joseph,” the baritone in the quartet in “The Music Man,” and in two winter productions of “Don’t Hug Me,” where he played Gunner Johnson and Gunner’s twin sister, Trigger.  Regarding his dual roles he commented, “I felt a little schizophrenic on stage, but it was tremendous fun being with the five-person cast for these two productions.”

Paul and his two sons recently raised over $1000 for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society’s MS 150 Bike fund-raiser during which Paul Brown broke his collarbone. He is optimistic about the healing process and is continuing his busy schedule with practices and duties as pastor of Faith Lutheran Church.

Both Brenda and Paul serve on the Masquers Theatre Company Board of Directors.

“We are both very excited to be involved in “Fiddler on the Roof,” Brenda Brown adds.

Show Details

All the struggles to survive, through tradition and joyfulness in a life of uncertainty and imbalance is viewed by the Fiddler from the rooftop.

Cast as The Fiddler is Tasha Montzka who has played violin for about nine years and recently was accepted into the Minnesota Youth Symphonies.

Janice Roman returns to direct the summer production in the 36th year of Masquers Theatre Company.

There are 14 performances slated July 6-29. Curtain times are 7:30 p.m. for all Thursday, Friday and Saturday night productions.

Performances are scheduled July 6-8 and July 13-15 for the first two weeks and July 19-22 and July 26-29 for the final two weeks. The performances include 2 p.m. matinees every Sunday through Sunday, July 29.

For tickets, visit masquerstheatre.org or call 651-464-5823.

Ticket prices are $18 for adults and $15 for students and seniors 60 plus in the reserved section. General admission ticket prices are $16 for adults and $13 for students and seniors 60 plus.

Children 5 and under will be seated in either reserved or the general admission seating area for $10.

The production is sponsored in part by the Hallberg Family Foundation of Forest Lake and by funds provided by the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council through a grant from the McKnight Foundation and appropriation by the Minnesota Legislature.