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Shelley Berman

Bix Palkovick and Shelley Berman perform in "Fiddler on the Roof," 1971

Bix Palkovic and Shelley Berman performing a difficult dance during Fiddler on the Roof, 1971




The first famous person the college brought in was Shelley Berman (born 1925).  Berman's name may not sound familiar to a modern-day audience, but he was quite well-known when Summer Theatre brought him in for the 1971 season.  He is a stage, television, and film actor as well as a comic.  His recent television performances include "The Bernie Mac Show" and "Friends," and he played Judge Ira in the film "Meet the Fockers."

Shelley Berman as Tevye in "Fiddler on the Roof," 1971

Shelley Berman performs as Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof, 1971





Shelley Berman did create a bit of a stir with the cast of Fiddler, because he changed some of the choreography and characterizations when he arrived not long before the first performance.  Some individuals appreciated the changes; cast member Mary Muhlbradt thought that Berman improved the choreography, eliminated the obvious stereotypes in the play, and made the performances better.  Other actors were frustrated with the extra rehearsals required to learn these last minute changes.  In any case, Berman was successful in attracting an audience to the performances.

Fiddler Photo 1.1, 1971

Tzietel's wedding scene in Fiddler on the Roof, 1971