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Review: TEVYE IN NEW YORK! at The Wallis Annenberg Center For The Performing Arts

Through Sunday, July 25, 2021

Review: TEVYE IN NEW YORK! at The Wallis Annenberg Center For The Performing Arts

As fresh and gentle as the breeze of an early summer night, an imaginary curtain rose this past Saturday above The Wallis Annenberg's outdoor pop-up, world-premiere of, TEVYE IN NEW YORK! marking its triumphant return to adapted live theater production.

With the re-imagining of its courtyard as a 100-person capacity, socially-distanced space, equipped with tiered seating and open-framed staging, the Wallis provides an exceptional example of how theater can and has successfully responded to the limits of a full year of closure and continued restrictions because of Covid-19. And they didn't forget the fun!

Written, co-directed, and performed by Tom Dugan (Jackie Unveiled, Wiesenthal) and co-directed and designed by Michael Vale, this one-man show, based on the beloved characters of Sholem Aleichem, imagines the life of Tevye and his family after the curtain comes down in Fiddler on the Roof. Set in 1914, the play follows Tevye as he vies for his piece of the American dream in the crowded streets of Manhattan's Lower East Side.

Introspective and sweet, the piece touches on what it meant to be an immigrant in America at that time, and Tevye's hope that he will finally have the luck that has always seemed to mostly elude him throughout his life.

While waiting for a parade to pass by, The Real Tevye, The Dairy Man, as he is now known, welcomes a gathering crowd of neighbors with pickles and ice cream as he prepares for the arrival of his daughter, son-in-law, and grandson. The three are currently wading through the maze of immigrant checkpoints at Ellis Island after arriving by ship, in order to be allowed to enter America. Together, they will mark an auspicious day for all of them - a new way forward into the future. If only, he could get the key to open his cart and actually serve the ice cream. As luck would have it, it is currently in the pocket of his other daughter's best friend, both at the facility to meet their family. And also, if, hopefully, his neighbor, has printed the poster announcement correctly.

It's a humorous, although somewhat ambling monologue filled with the ambiance of the surrounding city noises in real-time. Throughout his story of quirks, jokes, sad remembrances, short tales of luck lost and found, the audience hears a slightly different version of Tevye's story. One that he doesn't recognize about himself, of course - until he does. And it makes for a happy ending for all.

TEVYE IN NEW YORK! Is a delightful evening of theater.

Scenic and costume design is by Michael Vale; lighting design is by Elizabeth Harper, and sound design is by Cricket S. Myers.

The Wallis is also featuring a paperless, digital theater program. Saving trees and all that. Bring a phone in order to access the QR code. Concessions are not available. An extra layer of clothing or light jacket is recommended as temperatures in the outdoor performance space become chilly after sunset.

From Wednesday, June 23 through Sunday, July 25, 2021

8:00 pm

Run Time: 90 minutes - no intermission

The Wallis' outdoor performance space follows current L.A. County safety guidelines. Mask wearing is optional.

Tickets are $75 each. For further information and to purchase tickets, please visit

310.746.4000 (Tue.-Fri. 9:30 am - 2:30 pm)

For more information about The Wallis, please visit:

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From This Author - Tracey Paleo

Tracey Paleo is a member of the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle.  

... (read more about this author)

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