Approximately 300 people enjoyed the Fall Festival at the Boulder JCC on Monday, August 28. The community thoroughly enjoyed spending time on the expansive lawn space and Grant Family Patio where people participated in outdoor games, reconnected with one another, and enjoyed a selection of food from several local food trucks.
Later in the evening, the community was invited into Levin Hall with the cast and some of the musicians from Boulder Dinner Theater’s (BDT) upcoming production of “Fiddler on the Roof” for a special singalong version of the musical. The cast, not in costume, performed ten classic songs from the production, inviting the audience to join in song, costume, and props.
In between some of the songs, BDT Stage Producing Artistic Director, Seamus McDonough spoke about the show and the history of BDT. He was joined on stage by Wayne Kennedy, a legend at the BDT Stage, and actor who had played (and is currently playing) Tevye in all the productions, with the Director, Kenny Moten.
The Boulder JCC talked to Seamus McDonough about the show, below are his insights.
Why was “Fiddler on the Roof” chosen as the first and last show at Boulder Dinner Theater?
“Fiddler was actually the third show in our first season, but with this production is the show we have done the most in our history. The piece itself is one of the greatest musicals ever written, but is one of our audience favorites. Tradition and Family are two core values we cultivated in our own BDT (Boulder’s Dinner Theater) family and those themes are written in this piece so perfectly. It’s also not lost on us that with the closing of our theater the end of the show is very much an instance of art imitating life with the community having to leave their homes.”
What should audiences expect when they come to see this production?
“They will expect to see one of the biggest productions we have ever done. This whole last season has been a celebration of the past 46 years and it culminates in this production. We could not be more excited in the partnership with the JCC on this as well. We know that this show holds a special place in the Jewish culture and everyone at the JCC has been overwhelmingly helpful to make sure we can do that justice.”
Several of the cast members in the 2023 production have performed in this show at BDT in the past, is that because they love the show, BDT, the characters so much?
“BDT is a family. There have been many of our staff and performers who have been with us for 25-30 years. They have made their lives working here. That being said for many, this show and these characters hold a special place in their hearts. Wayne Kennedy, playing Tevye, has done this role for us on three separate occasions and each time delivers something new to the role while still holding true to the character.”
There are a lot of folks very sad to see a Boulder institution close – what is next for people who have been working at the BDT for years?
“Many will continue to act in the community. Some folks have said when the curtain goes down for BDT, that will be it for them onstage. The overwhelming feeling is that we are celebrating each moment we are getting to say goodbye. It’s not often that you have a planned closing for a theater. Usually you show up and there are locks on the doors. Getting to have our patrons come in for one more production and say goodbye to them and thank you is a gift and we want to celebrate that.”
“Fiddler on the Roof” is running at the Boulder Dinner Theater from September 9, 2023 to January 13, 2024. To purchase tickets for the full production at BDTStage.com or call 303-449-6000.