Lyric Opera of Chicago announces casting for Fiddler on the Roof

CHICAGO (6/9/22) — Lyric Opera of Chicago announces principal casting for its new to Chicago production of Fiddler on the Roof, the North American premiere of an internationally heralded reinvention of the Broadway classic, set to hit the Lyric stage September 17 – October 7, 2022.

Lyric’s Fiddler cast will be led by Steven Skybell as Tevye, the role for which he won a Lucille Lortel Award for the 2019 off-Broadway Yiddish production; Broadway personality Debbie Gravitte, a 1989 Tony Award winner for Jerome Robbins’ Broadway, as Golde; David Benoit, a Broadway veteran who has appeared in musicals from Les Misérables to Avenue Q, as Lazar Wolf; Lauren Marcus, who recently had a featured role in the Netflix film adaptation of tick, tick... BOOM!, as Tzeitel; and Joy Hermalyn , who recently appeared on Broadway in the Tony-nominated revival of Caroline, or Change, as Yente.

The other talented singing actors in the cast include Austen Bohmer as Hodel, Maya Jacobson as Chava, Drew Redington as Motel, Adam Kaplan as Perchik, Michael Nigro as Fyedka, Liliana Renteria as Shprintze, Omi Lichtenstein as Bielke, Jackson Evans as Mendel, Tommy Novak as Avram, Steven Strafford as Mordcha, Melody Betts as Grandma/Fruma Sarah, Bill McGough as the Rabbi, and William Brown as the Constable. New York casting is by Tara Rubin Casting/Merri Sugarman, CSA, and Chicago casting is by Becca McCracken, CSA.

This new to Chicago production, conceived by the visionary director Barrie Kosky as a tribute to his own Jewish heritage, keeps the "Tradition" center stage while telling Fiddler’s joyful and heartbreaking story with Kosky's innovative stagecraft. The creative team for Fiddler on the Roof includes set design by Rufus Didwiszus, original choreography by Otto Pichler, revival choreography by Silvano Marraffa, costume design by Klaus Bruns, original lighting design by Diego Leetz, and revival lighting design by Marco Philipp. The Lyric Opera Orchestra and Chorus are led by conductor Kimberly Grigsby in her Lyric debut; Michael Black is Lyric’s Chorus Master.

When this new vision of the blockbuster show premiered in Berlin in 2017, international critics heralded the arrival of a completely original and unique vision of the classic Broadway musical, a theatrical experience both grand in scale and intimate in its power. "The single best performance I have ever witnessed…20 years from now, people will still be talking about this legendary production," raved Broadway World.

Fiddler on the Roof offers Chicago theatergoers a unique musical immersion with the full forces of the renowned Lyric Opera Orchestra, members of the powerful Lyric Opera Chorus, and a cast of seasoned Broadway and musical theater artists, all presented on Chicago’s largest stage in the acoustically stunning Lyric Opera House with enhanced accessibility, new plush seating, and improved sightlines.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit lyricopera.org/fiddler — 11 performances only!

Meet the cast of Lyric's Fiddler on the Roof

Steven Skybell (Tevye) most recently starred off-Broadway in the New York premiere of Karen Hartman’s play The Lucky Star. Pre-pandemic, he starred for two years as Tevye in Joel Grey’s acclaimed production of Fiddler on The Roof in Yiddish, for which he received the 2019 Lucille Lortel award for Outstanding Performance by Lead Actor in a Musical. Broadway credits include Fiddler On The Roof, Pal Joey, Wicked, The Full Monty, Love! Valour! Compassion!, Cafe Crown, and Ah, Wilderness! Off-Broadway appearances include Babette's Feast, Cymbeline, and Antigone in New York (Obie Award). Other credits include: Camelot (Helen Hayes nomination). Broken Glass and Caucasian Chalk Circle (both Connecticut Critics Circle nominations), and Henry V (Shakespeare's Globe, London). Skybell’s numerous TV and film credits include The Good Fight, Blue Bloods, Elementary, Chicago PD, Cradle Will Rock, and Simply Irresistible. Lyric debut

Debbie Gravitte (Golde) the Tony Award winner and Emmy nominee made her Broadway debut in the original cast of They’re Playing Our Song, and went on to appear in Perfectly Frank (Drama Desk nomination), Blues in the Night, Ain’t Broadway Grand, Zorba, Chicago, Jerome Robbins’ Broadway (Tony Award, Drama Desk nomination), and Les Miserables. Off-Broadway credits include Carnival, The Boys from Syracuse, and Tenderloin. Gravitte has performed with more than 175 orchestras in the U.S. and abroad, and has recorded four solo CDs. She has performed her nightclub act worldwide, and is one of the voices in Disney’s The Little Mermaid film. Television credits include Trial and Error, Pursuit of Happiness, and several specials for PBS, including a solo show premiering this fall. Lyric debut

Lauren Marcus (Tzeitel) the Glencoe native appeared on Broadway as Brooke Lohst in Be More Chill and most recently in Sarah Silverman's The Bedwetter at The Atlantic. Regional credits include Little Shop of Horrors, The Humans, Company, and Love in Hate Nation. She recently made her feature film debut in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s tick, tick…Boom! An award-winning writer, Marcus is currently developing a television pilot with the New York Stage and Film Filmmakers’ Workshop. Lyric debut

David Benoit (Lazar Wolf) most recently appeared as Bob Mattey in Seattle Rep’s Bruce, about the making of the movie Jaws. He appeared in the Broadway and national tours of Les Miserables (Thenardier), Avenue Q (Nicky/Trekkie), Jekyll and Hyde (Bishop/Spider), and Dance of the Vampires. Additional national tours include Phantom of the Opera (Firmin), All Shook Up (Sheriff Earl), Young Frankenstein (Inspector Kemp/Blind Hermit), Forbidden Broadway, and Forbidden Hollywood. Off-Broadway appearances include Forbidden Broadway: Summer Shock!, Forbidden Broadway: 10th Anniversary, and Forever Plaid (Sparky). He previously appeared as Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof for Virginia Rep. He has appeared in regional productions of Sweeney Todd (Sweeney), The Adding Machine (Mr. Zero, Helen Hayes nomination), Vanya and Sonya and Masha and Spike (Vanya), Romance in Hard Times (Polly), and in Boston Lyric Opera’s Martin Guerre (The Priest).  Lyric debut

Joy Hermalyn (Yente) recently appeared on Broadway as Grandma Gellman in the Tony-nominated revival of Caroline, or Change. Other Broadway credits include Fiddler on the Roof (Fruma/Yente), Cyrano the Musical (Chaperone), Christmas Carol (Mrs. Fezziwig), Candide and Baz Luhrmann’s La Bohème. Regional appearances include Cabaret, Souvenir, Gypsy, Sweeney Todd, Oliver!, and Beauty & the Beast. Hermalyn sang Minnie / La Fanciulla del West as well as Abigail Adams / 1776 at Utah Festival Opera in the same season. Other opera credits include La Fille du Régiment, Le Comte Ory, La Nozze di Figaro, Rigoletto, Il Trittico, Madama Butterfly, La Bohéme (Leoncavallo), Faust, Der Rosenkavalier, Die Fledermaus, Trouble in Tahiti, and Hansel and Gretel, and she has toured widely as all the major Gilbert & Sullivan mezzo sopranos. She was a featured performer in Sound of Music Live! with Carrie Underwood on NBC and in Sweeney Todd with the New York Philharmonic for Live from Lincoln Center on PBS, and has sung at Avery Fisher, Carnegie, and the Royal Albert Halls. Lyric debut

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FIDDLER ON THE ROOF

Based on Sholem Aleichem stories by special permission of Arnold Perl
Book by JOSEPH STEIN
Music by JERRY BOCK
Lyrics by SHELDON HARNICK
Produced on the New York Stage by HAROLD PRINCE
Original New York Stage Production Directed and Choreographed by JEROME ROBBINS

A production by Komische Oper Berlin.

FIDDLER ON THE ROOF is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI.) All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI, mtishows.com.

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Lyric’s presentation of Fiddler on the Roof is generously made possible by Lead Sponsor The Negaunee Foundation with additional support from Production Sponsors the Gramma Fisher Foundation of Marshalltown, Iowa, The Zell Family Foundation, Marlys A. Beider, The Davee Foundation, Invenergy LLC, The Harris Family Foundation, Randy L. & Melvin R.* Berlin and Ethel & William Gofen.


*deceased

About Lyric

About Lyric

Lyric Opera of Chicago is committed to redefining what it means to experience great opera. The company is driven to deliver consistently excellent artistry through innovative, relevant, celebratory programming that engages and energizes new and traditional audiences.

Under the leadership of General Director, President & CEO Anthony Freud, Music Director Enrique Mazzola, and Special Project Advisor Renée Fleming, Lyric is dedicated to reflecting, and drawing strength from, the diversity of Chicago. Lyric offers, through innovation, collaboration, and evolving learning opportunities, ever-more exciting, accessible, and thought-provoking audience and community experiences. We also stand committed to training the artists of the future, through The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center; and to becoming increasingly diverse across our audiences, staff, programming, and artists—magnifying the welcoming pull of our art form, our company, and our city.

Through the timeless power of voice, the splendor of a great orchestra and chorus, theater, dance, design, and truly magnificent stagecraft, Lyric is devoted to immersing audiences in worlds both familiar and unexpected, creating shared experiences that resonate long after the curtain comes down.

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