WGIR host to star as Tevye in Amherst PTA’s Fiddler on the Roof
By Heidi Masek firstname.lastname@example.org
Former WMUR sportscaster Charlie Sherman, current WGIR radio host, will be starring as Tevye in the Amherst PTA performance of Fiddler on the Roof in April.
Yes, that Charlie Sherman.
“It’s the greatest role ever made,” Sherman said.
A year and a half ago Dr. Alan Kaplan and George Piehl, both Manchester theater veterans, were on Sherman’s radio show promoting a production they were involved in. Sherman, who hasn’t done live theater in 25 years, made the mistake of telling them that Tevye was the only role that could get him back on stage.
Word travels in the small New Hampshire theater community, Sherman said, and he later got a call from Tom Partridge, who was directing a Fiddler on the Roof production for the annual Amherst Parent Teacher Association fundraiser.
“I tried to make every excuse for not doing it,” Sherman said, reasoning that he has to wake up too early for his radio show to go to evening rehearsals, and that memorizing lines might be too tough. But his wife told him since he had always wanted to play that role, he should just do it.
Really, don’t be fooled by the fact that this is produced by a PTA, Sherman said.
“Like everything else in Amherst, it’s over the top,” he said. “I wouldn’t even consider doing it if wasn’t going to be a big-time [production],” he said. Their production of The King and I brought in more than $12,000 last year and competed for NH Theatre Awards. Their 2005 show raised $18,000. It’s an annual fundraiser the Amherst PTA has used since 1953 to support programs for students in their school system.
This cast has 80 people, with a 15-piece orchestra. Sherman said he’s been rehearsing “non-stop” and is sporting a beard for the part that makes him “look like a street person.” Carol Yetto, Ashley Hughes, Sophie Carpenter, Melissa Phillips, Caterina Yetto, Meghan McKnight, Dave Ostrowski and Vick Bennison are a few of his many fellow actors, whom he called an “awful lot of talented people.”
The last play Sherman was in was 12 Angry Men. He’s done some cabaret since then, performing “Rich Man” from Fiddler in character. He last appeared in Fiddler in college in the 1970s at Leland Powers School of Radio, Television and Theater in Boston, which, after 125 years of existence, went out of business the year Sherman graduated.
Since then, Dr. Kaplan has approached Sherman about an upcoming Joseph and the Amazing Dream Color performance, but so far Sherman claims this is a “one-time deal.”
To see this extravaganza, buy a ticket for $10 at Black Forest Café and Bakeries, Homestead Grocery & Deli or Moulton’s Market in Amherst or The Toadstool Bookshop in Milford. See amherstpta.org/play for other details. The show runs Thursday, April 12, through Saturday, April 14, at 7 p.m. with matinees April 14 and 15 at 2 p.m. at Souhegan High School, 412 Boston Post Road, Amherst.