Circle of Life

The members of the Phamaly Theatre Company, which showcases talented actors with physical, cognitive and emotional disabilities, form a tight crew. Some of them, like Kathleen Traylor, have been with the nonprofit troupe since its inception 24 years ago, and when their new production of Fiddler on the Roof opens tonight in the Space Theatre, it will be Traylor's second whirl through the beloved Broadway musical with Phamaly, this time as Golde; she previously played Yente, in a 1994 version. And she's not the only returnee: Mark Dissette will again play the meaty lead role of Tevye, and Lucy Roucis, Donna Gunnison and Greg Stanley will all return to Fiddler nearly twenty years later.

Director Steve Wilson thinks the classic story of Jewish tradition and the forces that pull it apart speaks to audiences and Phamaly's actors alike in universally inspirational ways: "It touches on the collective truth that everyone will ultimately leave the comfort of 'home' and venture off into the sometimes forbidding and unpredictable world," he says. "These transitions can be particularly challenging for those with disabilities and their loved ones and caretakers."

Fiddler on the Roof takes that everyman journey beginning with a preview performance at 8 p.m. at the Space, in the Denver Performing Arts Complex; the show continues through August 11. Buy tickets, $17 to $34, online at or call 303-893-4100.
Thu., July 18, 7:30 p.m.; Fridays, Saturdays, 7:30 p.m.; Sundays, 2 p.m.; Mon., July 29, 7:30 p.m. Starts: July 18. Continues through Aug. 11, 2013

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Susan Froyd started writing for Westword as the "Thrills" editor in 1992 and never quite left the fold. These days she still freelances for the paper in addition to walking her dogs, enjoying cheap ethnic food and reading voraciously. Sometimes she writes poetry.
Contact: Susan Froyd