A New “Fiddler”

Another summer theater production of “Fiddler on the Roof” is not big news, right? Oh yeah? Well, this one is. On Aug.3, the classic musical — based on the stories by Sholem Aleichem — bows in the theater of the Abbey of Regina Laudis in Bethlehem, Ct.  Thomas Camm and Sarah Robards co-star (She’s the daughter of Tony Award-winning thesp Jason Robards, who died in nearby Bridgeport in 2007). I received the “Fiddler” invitation from Mother Dolores Hart, Prioress, O.S.B., the Abbey of Regina Laudis. No, she will not be appearing in the production. But she’ll be on hand to applaud.  She laughingly tells me, “You can take the girl out of the country but you can’t take the country out of the girl.” Patricia Neal had been instrumental in helping the theater, established in 1986, move to indoor quarters after she had appeared on its boards in Helen Keller readings. There’s no charge for theater tickets but Hart tells me, “offerings” are welcome. Sally Camm directs and choreographs the cast of 27. At last year’s production of “The Music Man” theatergoers came from as far away as New York. And it’s expected they’ll return for “Fiddler.”

Hart (Mother Dolores) is completing her autobio, “The Other Part,” I reminded her that much of her segue from showbiz to vowbiz is contained in the  recently-published bio of Mother Benedict, Foundress of the Abbey,  of Regina Laudis, by Antoinette Bosco, But Hart, laughingly said, “That is just the beginning.”

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