Catherine Schreiber has done it again. The Tony Award–winner has received her fifth Tony nomination—this time for producer of the Broadway revival of Fiddler on the Roof, which garnered three additional nominations for Best Musical Revival, Best Actor and Best Choreographer.
The producer grew up in Great Neck Estates and attended Saddle Rock Elementary School, before graduating from Great Neck North as salutatorian, where she studied acting and starred in school plays, such as The Crucible, The Glass Menagerie and Tonight at 8:30. “Actually, the wonderful Norman Hall, still living in Great Neck, gave me my first job acting in television on The Doctors after I graduated Yale College,” said the Phi Beta Kappa, Magna Cum Laude graduate with honors in English.
“After college, I worked Off Broadway as an actress. Then I moved to LA after touring in Sly Fox with Jackie Gleason, and raised my kids there,” said Schreiber. “I acted, wrote for TV and films, and started producing. My husband and I returned to New York full time in 2012, and now I have an active Broadway and London producing career. It’s been an exciting ride.”
Growing up in Great Neck built the foundation for her thrilling career. “Yes, I started acting there and continue to do that, too, time permitting,” she said. “Most recently, I performed Off Broadway in a play I cowrote. My most recent TV performance was on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. I’m also a writer, though it’s hard to do it all. I haven’t been doing much acting as I’ve been working in London a lot.”
Across the pond, Schreiber produced Kander & Ebb’s The Scottsboro Boys, the critically acclaimed musical from the duo who created Chicago and Cabaret, which was directed by the legendary Susan Stroman. The production won The Critics Circle Award for Best Musical at the Young Vic Theatre, where it was first presented, and received six Olivier Award nominations including Best New Musical. After transferring to London’s West End, the play earned Schreiber the prestigious Evening Standard Award for Best Musical.
“Bringing The Scottsboro Boys to London has been a highlight of my life and I’m so pleased that the London audiences responded so strongly to the powerful story of racism in 1930s Alabama, told so magnificently through Kander & Ebb’s music,” said Schreiber. “People are always thanking me for bringing the show to London and saying it was the most powerful show they have ever seen. It’s been so, so rewarding and life changing for me and for so many who saw the show.”
Schreiber is also producing the National Theatre’s production of The Effect Off Broadway, which is a New York Times Critics’ Pick and winner of London’s Critics’ Circle Award. She continues her work in London as a producer on the National Theatre/Headlong’s People, Places & Things, for which star Denise Gough won an Olivier. Schreiber is also a producer on the critically acclaimed classic Show Boat. Plus, she’s working on several new projects in London and will be participating in a new show on Broadway next season.
“My mother still lives in Great Neck as do my sister and her husband,” said Schreiber. “I come back a lot. In fact, I have been an invited guest at the library. I really enjoyed speaking there. I also did Shirley Romaine’s cable show.”
She maintains relationships with childhood friends. “I am in touch with classmates,” she said. “I have, in the past, put together a Great Neck theater night, inviting people from my class to come see a show and have dinner before. That was great fun. I hope to do that again. It’s marvelous how theater brings people together.”
Fiddler also stars Great Neck’s Adam Kantor as Motel. Schreiber recently met one of Kantor’s eighth-grade teachers, retired English Department Head Michael Greenberg, who said that besides being an incredibly nice person, Kantor was the most talented musical artists he’d ever seen pass through the halls of Great Neck North. An exciting benefit of having esteemed local talent, a lucky group of eighth graders will soon be attending the show and will have a special post-show talk with Kantor. “Great Neck should be very, very proud of Adam,” said Schreiber. “He’s just wonderful in the show.”
At the moment, all eyes are on the 70th Annual Tony Awards, which will be televised on Sunday, June 12, from 8 to 11 p.m. on CBS. “Fiddler is honored to be nominated in a group of superb productions, all worth a trip to Broadway,” noted Schreiber, who is so proud to be part of Fiddler. “Bartlett Sher’s direction and Hofesh Shechter’s breathtaking choreography combine the traditions of Fiddler we all know and love, but with a new take for today, making it an absolutely emotional, thrilling, joyous experience,” she explained.
“No matter how many times someone’s seen Fiddler, I promise a glorious evening with treasured songs as ‘Tradition,’ ‘Sunrise, Sunset’ and ‘To Life.’ I guarantee everyone in Great Neck will love Fiddler,” she assures. “The only downside, you may be singing ‘Miracle of Miracles’ for weeks.”
Read a review of Fiddler here.