Review: FIDDLER ON THE ROOF Brings Tradition to the Hobby Center Of Performing Arts

By: Apr. 27, 2022
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Review: FIDDLER ON THE ROOF Brings Tradition to the Hobby Center Of Performing Arts
The Company of the North American Tour of Fiddler on the Roof. Photo by Joan Marcus

"As the good book says, if you spit in the air, it lands in your face." - Tevye, the Milkman

The Broadway classic is currently in residence at the Hobby Center and is a wonderful expression of both the beauties of our past and a great reminder that history repeats itself.

Review: FIDDLER ON THE ROOF Brings Tradition to the Hobby Center Of Performing Arts
Noa Luz Barenblat (Chava) and Kelly Gabrielle Murphy (Tzeitel) and Ruthy Froch (Hodel) in the North American Tour of Fiddler on the Roof. Photo by Joan Marcus

Set in late 19th century revolutionary Russia, Fiddler takes place in the town of Anatevka and revolves around the life of this small Jewish town. The story focuses on Tevye, a milkman, and his family. His wife, Golde, and marriage-age daughters, Tzeitel, Hodol, and Chava, are featured as Tevye has conversations with his God and tries to navigate the changing world around him. In this small community, all members are essential, as the community finds matches for their children in gossipy Yente, meat from the butcher Lazar Wolf, and the spiritual guidance from the Rabbi and his son. Tevye circumnavigates these relationships and more as Tzeitel, Hodol, and Chava all find love matches without the help of the matchmaker Yente. Tzeitel's love for the tailor, Motel, is the first conflict of many, as Tevye realizes that the world is changing around him through the eyes of his oldest daughter. If there is a villain to this story, it is the anti-semitic views of imperial Russia. Anatevka wishes for the Tsar to stay far away. Still, it comes to the door of Tevye and his family, creating both chaotic violence and emotional trauma for the community.

Review: FIDDLER ON THE ROOF Brings Tradition to the Hobby Center Of Performing Arts
Ali Arian Molaei (The Fiddler) and the Company of the North American Tour of Fiddler on the Roof. Photo by Joan Marcus


I found all the cast members give performances of an absolute lifetime. The audience almost seemed to feel the same way with every heartwarming and heart-wrenching moment. There were audible gasps with the addition of oohs and aahs surrounding the theater. This particular production has been in performance for years, and one can still feel that "brand new" feeling with this specific production. Yehezkel Lazarove as a Tevye is a performance of comedic genius. Lazarove has the audience in the palm of their hand from the moment they enter the stage, and it is obvious the character's wit is on full display. The penultimate song, "If I Were a Rich Man," is in good hands with Lazarove. Opposite Lazarove as Tevye's wife, Golde is Maite Uzal, who does a phenomenal job of playing the "neck" to Lazarove's head. Uzal's performance is an excellent expression of who actually is in control of Tevye's household. Kelly Gabrielle Murphy's portrayal of the hopeful Tzeitel is a revelation of both expert singing and acting. Murphy's exquisite voice left me with chills as their Tzeitel hopes her father approves of her marrying Motel. Finally, another superb performance comes from Rosie Webber as the terrifying ex-wife of the butcher, Lazar Wolf. Webber does a fantastic job of vocal brilliance and elicits the jocular fears that Fruma Sara brings in a nightmare sequence to Tevye. Webber receiving exit applause was very well-deserved, and I hope they receive all the love from Houston audiences.

Review: FIDDLER ON THE ROOF Brings Tradition to the Hobby Center Of Performing Arts
Rosie Webber and the Company of the North American Tour of Fiddler on the Roof. Photo by Joan Marcus

The classic songs with music and lyrics by Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick are in full sparkle in this touring production. Music Director, Jonathan Marro, shows their masterful skill in leading both cast and ensemble in this vocally demanding score. The book by Joseph Stein still has the classic lines that any Fiddler lover will enjoy. Design elements are both spectacular and jaw-dropping. Catherine Zuber's costume design is a work of sheer genius, particularly during the nightmare sequence with Fruma Sarah. Zuber's excellent costumes are heightened by Tom Watson's wig/makeup design. Again, the piece de resistance is Fruma Sarah.

Review: FIDDLER ON THE ROOF Brings Tradition to the Hobby Center Of Performing Arts
Kelly Gabrielle Murphy (Tzeitel) and Daniel Kushner (Motel) in the North American Tour of Fiddler on the Roof. Photo by Joan Marcus

Overall this production is a must-see for anyone interested in seeing a stellar production of Fiddler on the Roof. Whether this would be the first time seeing Fiddler or your 20th time seeing Fiddler, the ticket is well worth the price of admission.

Review: FIDDLER ON THE ROOF Brings Tradition to the Hobby Center Of Performing Arts
The Company of the North American Tour of Fiddler on the Roof. Photo by Joan Marcus


Fiddler on the Roof is part of the Broadway Across America season and will be running from April 26th to May 1st. Tickets can be bought at hobbycenter.org or at the box office on 800 Bagby St. Performances are Tuesday through Thursday nights at 7:30pm, Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00pm, with matinees on Saturday and Sunday 2:00pm. Masks are a requirement while inside The Hobby Center for the Performing Arts unless consuming food and beverage.



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