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BWW Review: FIDDLER ON THE ROOF at Times Union Center For The Performing Arts

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The production runs now through November 7th

BWW Review: FIDDLER ON THE ROOF at Times Union Center For The Performing Arts

"To us and our good fortune. Be happy, be healthy, long life! And if our good fortune never comes Here's to whatever comes, Drink l'chaim, to life!" feels very fitting after a long 18-month hiatus due to COVID-19. Fiddler on the Roof opened at the Times Union Center for the Performing Arts in Jacksonville on November 2. The musical follows Tevye (Yehezkel Lazarov) and his family in the town of Anatevka. Due to a radical named Perchick (Solomon Reynolds), Tevye's family is taken on a journey into the "outside world." The show truly depicts how times change, but traditions are hard to let go. The cast is supremely talented and witty, as well as entertaining for all audience members.

The main character, Tevye (Lazarov), was incredibly witty. The way he turns towards the audience with a slight glance up as he makes snide remarks to God always made the audience laugh. Lazarov's voice is also beautifully displayed in "If I Were a Rich Man", "Do You Love Me?", and both of his monologues. His chemistry with his wife and his daughters was very present in his performance. While the emotion was seen between Tevye (Lazarov) and Golde (Maite Uzal) in "Do You Love Me?" the audience also got a glimpse of the irritation that comes with a 25-year marriage. Uzal was an absolute treat as Golde. She is not here for anyone's drama, and she plays it perfectly!

The three daughters with the most prominent story lines include Tzeitel (Kelly Gabrielle Murphy), Hodel (Ruthy Froch), Chava (Noa Luz Barenblat). The three have that sisterly bond down! Their number "Matchmaker, Matchmaker" was so sweet and wholesome. I could see some of the audience members sway to the number. (Okay, that member was me.) Murphy's ability to be both rebellious and obedient was impressive. Murphy was able to convey the desire of what she wants so well, the audience feels such empathy for her and wants her to get exactly what she wants. Froch's ability to play the second daughter that follows in the eldest footsteps was impressive. Froch was so passionate about the change that she could make with her significant other. The audience could sympathize after all the change that has happened in the last 18 months. Lastly, Chava, is the "most rebellious" daughter. It is evident to the audience that she is fighting her feelings for a Fyedka (Jack O'Brien), who is not of the faith. The emotion that comes with this storyline was heartbreaking to audience members. The entire theatre was still as the number "Chavaleh" played out.

Another entertaining character was Yente (Brooke Wetterhahn). I am almost positive that every time Wetterhahn was on stage, the audience was laughing. It was not even at a joke, but just the demeanor and mannerisms of the character. Motel (Daniel Kushner) was adorable as the nerdy love interest of Tzeitel (Murphy). Kushner was able to display his voice in "Miracle of Miracles" and was great! While the characters mentioned had specific scenes or numbers to display their talents, I cannot emphasize how supremely talented the ENTIRE ensemble was. The dancing was incredibly impressive, but more than that, the cast genuinely looks like they are enjoying what they are doing. You could feel the joy throughout the theatre.

Fiddler on the Roof is in Jacksonville at the Times Union Center for the Performing Arts through November 7. It is a true treat for the whole family!

 


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