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February 7, 2013

City actors perform in 'Fiddler on the Roof'

(Continued)

“When I hear the music or see the play or the movie, I can picture how my grandparents lived, and it brings me back to that era,” Poole said. “Bringing it forward to my children and grandchildren have brought them to where I am, so they feel like I do.”

Poole’s daughter Jody Nichols is Acting Out’s choreographer.

“Growing up, all we heard were Broadway musical soundtracks in my house, and Fiddler was one that was played often,” said Nichols, also of North Andover. “I learned all the songs, and when I grew up, I would dance at weddings and bar mitzvahs. Hearing that music made me proud of my Jewish heritage.”

The power and importance of a show like this extends beyond remembering the past, Nichols said.

”Its message of tradition and illustration of the persecution of the Jews of Russia is important today, to those involved with Acting Out’s production,” she said. “The story of Fiddler, everyone should learn from it and know where we came from. All those things that happened in the story, that still happens today. If you don’t tell the story of what happened, people will forget and it will happen again. You always want to keep the story alive.”

Schoonmaker said there is a cohesiveness on stage that makes audience members believe they really are in Anatevka.

”Take the trip with us,” Schoonmaker said. “It is not just about seeing a show. It is an experience.”

The original 1964 Broadway production, with a cast including Zero Mostel and Beatrice Arthur, won nine Tony awards, including for best musical. It ran for eight years and was the first Broadway musical to surpass 3,000 performances.

“It’s a classic with a message,” Schoonmaker said. “I’m so happy that we decided to do it. It is one of our best yet!”

The Acting Out! Theater Company is a nonprofit organization based in Lawrence. For tickets or more information, visit online at www.actingouttheater.com or call 978-807-1191.

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