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TEVYE AND HIS DAUGHTERS (article first published : 2003-01-24)

Professor Pieter Scholtz is presenting two delightful stories based on the classic tales about Tevye the Mlkman for a short season at the cosy Kwasuka Theatre in Greyville from February 4 to 22 titled Tevye and his Daughters, using the spoken word, music and art.

The two stories being presented are Tevye Strikes it Rich and Hodel based on stories by celebrated Yiddish writer, Shalom Aleichem.

Scholtz will perform against a backdrop of carefully chosen slides by Marc Chagall. In each case the beautiful images echo the poignant stories being told. Chagall, who was born in White Russia, was inspired by Judaic tradition. Many of his artworks focus on festivals, celebrations and the blending of the comic and the tragic in the Russian Jewish tradition.

The music in this production comes from the repertoire of the Klezmer musicians – the itinerant bands who played for weddings and other celebrations in old Eastern Europe up until 1939. It reflects the interplay of dance tunes and folk songs incorporating influences of gypsy musical art and elements of American popular music following the immigration to the USA at the turn of the century.

Pieter Scholtz feels he has a strong affinity with the ethos and humour of traditional Jewish folk tales and with characters such as Tevye the Milkman. It is no accident that his repertoire of dramatic roles has included many colourful and controversial Jewish characters. He has appeared at Tevye the Milkman in two separate productions of Fiddler on the Roof – the first with Caroline Smart as Golde, Brenda Radloff and Gaynor Young as two of the daughters, and a young Themi Venturas as Motel the Tailor. The second was many years later with Jacqui Logie as Golde.

In recognition of his compassionate portrayal of many and varied Jewish characters, he was presented with a document certifying that a tree with his name, was planted in the "South African Forest" in Israel. The certificate was presented to him by the Durban Women’s Zionist League after a performance celebrating the 38th anniversary of the State of Israel on May 14 1986.

Tevye and his Daughters can be seen from February 4 to 22. Performances Tuesday to Saturday at 19h30, with Saturday matinees at 14h30. Tickets R45 (R35 pensioners and students). Book at the theatre on 031-309 2236




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