Behind the Curtains with ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ Actress Heather Dudenbostel

by on January 6th, 2011
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LOS ANGELES/GLENDALE, CALIF. — Heather Dudenbostel said the intimacy of the theater on the round has been a wonderful way to connect with the audience in the Glendale Centre Theatre production of Fiddler on the Roof.

She is a recent transplant to Los Angeles and makes her first appearance at the beautiful 65-year old Glendale, Calif. theatre designed so that the audience sits on all four sides of the center stage. Guests sitting in the front rows are just a few feet away from the stage performance.

“It’s such a great feeling to be so close to the audience,” she said. “We are all on stage at the beginning of the show so there is something magical that happens that just gets me so connected to the story we are about to tell.”

For this Fiddler production, Dudenbostel plays the role of ‘Hodel,’ the second daughter of ‘Tevye’ (Richard Malmos) and ‘Golde’ (Lisa Dyson). She has a magnificent, angelic voice that is absolutely one of the high points of the show.

Dudenbostel said working opposite co-star Paul Hovannes (Perchick) has been a privilege, especially given the ease in which they were able to find the reality of their characters.

“It’s really nice to work with a person before rehearsal,” she said of Hovannes. “We got to know each other and our characters long before we made it to the first rehearsal. That really helped us define them before we ever hit the stage.”

Fiddler on the Roof is one of the great works of American musical theater is based on the book by Joseph Stein. Based in a small Ukrainian village in 1905, Fiddler tells the story of ‘Tevye’ (Malmos) and his five daughters who must confront long-standing traditions in their search for suitable husbands. The musical score by Jerry Bock includes some famous songs such as “If I were a Rich Man,” “Sunrise, Sunset,” “Matchmaker, Matchmaker” and others.

This is Dudenbostel’s first time performing in Fiddler, but she has a long and fond connection to the story going back to her childhood.

“I grew up listening to the music and, of course, I read the book,” she said. “It’s just such a beautiful story…really uplifting.”

Dudenbostel said she attended the open audition hoping for the role of ‘Hodel.” Her song selection was perfect for director Martin Lang and she was cast.

“I knew I wanted to audition for Hodel,” she said. “I have such a great respect for the history of Fiddler on the Roof…It’s really the perfect musical.”

Fiddler on the Roof plays through March 24 at the Glendale Centre Theatre. For tickets, visit or call (818) 244.8481.

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