BWW Review: The Tradition of FIDDLER ON THE ROOF Is Brought To Life In An All New Production at Broadway Grand Rapids!
Fiddler on the Roof, currently playing through Sunday, October 13th at DeVos Hall. Making its way back to Grand Rapids, where it also began the second season back in October 1989, it is a musical with full of hits you know and love. They include the opening musical number "Tradition" sung by Tevye (Yehezkel Lazarov), the beautiful and moving "Sabbath Prayer", "Sunrise, Sunset," to the always funny and humorous "If I Were A Rich Man". These songs will be sure to have you singing along and popping into your head on the way out!
Fiddler on The Roof is the heartwarming story of fathers and daughters, husbands and wives, and life, love and laughter. Tony-winning director Bartlett Sher and the team behind South Pacific, The King and I and 2017 Tony-winning Best Play Oslo, bring a fresh and authentic vision to this beloved theatrical masterpiece from Tony winner Joseph Stein and Pulitzer Prize winners Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick. Featuring a talented cast, lavish orchestra and stunning movement and dance from Israeli choreographer Hofesh Shechter, based on the original staging by Jerome Robbins, Fiddler on The Roof will introduce a new generation to the uplifting celebration.
This is a show for those who are theatre traditionalist when it comes to musical classics, like myself, and will have you noticing from beat one that this is a slightly newer version of Fiddler on The Roof. It contains all the same music, scripting, and story line as the original stage version, but they took it to a different place. First thing I noticed is the music was definitely played and sung a little more different then I've seen or heard in past productions of Fiddler. I was in the show a few years back and I'm not sure how best to describe it that other than some tempo changes, some styles of how it was played, and some different instruments playing parts of the score then I'm used to, which all gave the show the newer feel without taking away from the meaning of the lyrics and the script.
There were also some things that I was excited to see during this production compared to tours I've seen in recent years that they did not update on this show! They still move all the sets and props like the trees, tables, benches, and cart's; each of them were physically moved on and off by the cast. The house, barn, and few background set pieces in addition to multiple simply painted drops were flown in and out from above the stage. This brought out the theatre tech in me since I love behind the scenes and have done the backstage work bringing drops and set for several shows alive on stage every night!
With the awesome techie stuff, I would also have to highlight the awesome dancers in the show. Fiddler is a very choreographed show where the cast is moving the set and dancing at the same time. With this version straying away from the traditional music style a little bit, I found the music to be refreshing and was constantly wondering where they would go with it next since parts of it I found very unpredictable. I would definitely recommend seeing Fiddler on The Roof while it's in Grand Rapids.
Fiddler on The Roof is currently running through Sunday, October 13th at DeVos Performance Hall in Grand Rapids. For tickets, visit https://www.ticketmaster.com/fiddler-on-the-roof.
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