If I were a matchmaker, I’d match the performing arts department at Diamond Bar High with “Fiddler On the Roof.” Fortunately, they already have, selecting the perennial favorite for the big spring musical that opens tonight at 7 p.m. in the high school theater.
One would think they’d have a hard time finding someone to play Tevye, a Jewish dairyman trying to raise four daughters in Czarist Russia. Think celebrated Israeli actor Topol or the legendary Zero Mostel, who made the role famous in the Tony Award-winning musical that ran on Broadway for more than 3,000 performances from 1964 to 1972.
Not 17-year-old Charlie Luber. This is the high school student’s first big role. But 15 minutes in the makeup chair transforms the soft-spoken young actor into a very likeable Tevye. Charlie actually ages before your eyes from a young, clean-shaven Brahma to an old bearded peasant.
And while he may answer questions quietly in the dressing room, Charlie becomes a commanding presence on the theater stage. If anything, the sparkle in his eyes burns even brighter.
Read more in Rich Irwin’s story FIDDLER.