Actress Maite Uzal has become the first Hispanic actress to play Golde, the strong wife of Teyve, in the national tour of "Fiddler On The Roof," which comes to Broward Center for the Performing Arts from Feb. 20 through March 3.
"It is an honor to be the first Hispanic actress to play Golde\ on a national tour of ‘Fiddler On The Roof"," said Uzal, who resides in New York, but was born and raised in Madrid, Spain.
"Fiddler On The Roof," written by Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick, opened on Broadway in 1964. The musical tells the story of the Jewish dairyman Tevye and his family coping with anti-Semitism and pogroms in Imperial Russia in 1905.
Although Uzal grew up Catholic in Spain, she is familiar with the Jewish rituals in "Fiddler On The Roof." She confides that her father used to reenact the role of Tevye in the family household.
"My father loved both the music and the role of Tevye, singing songs to me such as 'If I Were A Rich Man' and 'To Life' in Spanish, so I grew to love 'Fiddler On The Roof" as a youngster."
"My father was 60 years old when I was born," says Uzla, "so he was precious to me and I to him, and it was easy for me to identify with the story of the bonding of the family and coping with circumstances in ‘Fiddler' ".
As Golde, the strength behind Teyve, Uzal has the spotlight singing the songs "Do You Love Me?" (as a duet with Israeli actor Yehezkel Lazarov (who plays Tevye), "Sabbath Prayer" and "Sunrise, Sunset".
" 'Fiddler On The Roof" is so well-written with its many songs speaking personally to me. It is a timeless musical that is embraced by many generations and will endure."
The actress says her character has a huge range of emotions In preparing for the role, I researched the brilliant libretto and other sources to immerse myself into the world of the 1905 shtetl, specifically as a woman and a mother in the house. I learned that she was illiterate and admired her ability to cope with all the stresses of her family and community."
Uzal has been an actress for seven years. Before coming to New York to pursue acting, she was a lawyer in Spain.
"I only studied law to please my family. My heart and soul told me to act and that is why I came to New York and I have been fortunate to find my passion in life by acting."
Uzal is scheduled to play the character in the tour until at least August. Theater reviewers have heaped praise on her portrayal."Uzal is confident, strong and comedic as ‘Golde. (She) delivers a flawless performance that makes the audience love Golde"s strong personality," wrote theater reviewer Natasha Asley of "Broadway World.
She won the 2016 Hispanic Organization For Latin Actors (HOLA) and Latin Ace Award for her numerous roles in musicals and plays.
"Fiddler On The Roof"" opens Wednesday, Feb. 20 through March 3, at the Broward Center For The Performing Arts, 201 SW Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale. Tickets range from $35-125, depending on dates and times of performances. For dates, show times and to purchase tickets, go to browardcenter.org or call 954-462-0222