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New Life musical raises the 'Roof' tonight

New Life Academy’s production of “Fiddler on the Roof” will open Nov. 7 at the school. (Submitted photo)

New Life Academy will be embracing tradition this week.

NLA’s fall musical, “Fiddler on the Roof,” which opens Nov. 7, is set in 1905 in Tsarist Russia and tells the story of Tevye, a Jewish man who does what he can to maintain his family and religious traditions while in the midst of many outside pressures. Tevye faces the strong wills of his oldest daughters who insist on marrying men who have wandered from their Jewish traditions. He also suffers the eviction of his village under an edict from the Tsar.

“It’s one of my favorite shows,” director Carole Brumley said.

Brumley said she chose “Fiddler on the Roof” for this year’s musical because it offered learning opportunities for students.

Not only did the show give students a chance to stretch their abilities – acting, singing and dancing – but the musical also offered up an opportunity for students to learn about the Jewish culture.

“I love the fact that the show brings in so much Jewish history,” she said. “We had to really learn about the culture and the traditions.”

Brumley said “Fiddler on the Roof” has posed some challenges to students however, namely the characters.

“A lot of the characters are older,” she said, “and that’s always a challenge for younger kids.”

However, the challenging characters are what really makes the show great, Brumley said.

“I love the fact that it’s very realistic and all of the characters have a lot of depth,” she said. “It’s a difficult show because it’s hard to get a Trevye, but this year we have him.”

Brumley said NLA’s production of “Fiddler on the Roof” will follow the traditional show.

“You can’t change it too much,” she said. “Audiences can expect some exciting dance scenes, probably some tears and laughter.”

Brumley said she is excited to see the whole show come together.

“I just always get excited when the kids work so hard and they can show off a finished product that they can be proud of,” she said.

 New Life Academy’s production of “Fiddler on the Roof” will run Nov. 7-9 at 7 p.m., Nov. 15-16 at 7 p.m. and Nov. 17 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $12 for adults and $7 for students. Tickets can be purchased online at

Amber Kispert-Smith

Amber Kispert-Smith has been the schools and Afton reporter at the Woodbury Bulletin since 2008. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota. She previously worked as a reporter for Press Publications in White Bear Lake.

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