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BWW Blog: Alyssa Sileo - Fearless Fiddler: My Miracle of Miracles on September 25th

A cornerstone of American Theatre has just reached another benchmark of its legacy, and we are the ones lucky enough to observe the mastery. Bartlett Sher's hailed Fiddler on the Roof is the most fearless revival of a classic that Broadway has seen. A revelrous company and a class of principals that were born to play these roles paints a Fiddler that will simultaneously warm and haunt the hearts of all who pass through the Broadway Theatre's doors.

For those who have not yet been blessed by Fiddler, a rundown: This cherished story, set in 1905 Russia, follows a Tevye, a Jewish man who resides in the (fictional) town of Anatevka. Tevye's three eldest daughters are approaching the years of marriage. Each man that each daughter falls in love with is not an ideal match due to their their financial or social standings. As a father, Tevye is faced with the knotty question: is a faithful life one with priority to the wishes of God, or to one's children? To make matters worse: Imperial tsarist Russia's brutality against the Jews is reaching a fever pitch, and the persecution eventually rips through Anatevka.

The positively spry score of Jerry Bock and the etching text of lyricist Sheldon Harnick and playwright Joseph Stein, trophies of the musical theatre collective, were indubitably honored in this rendition--and I must follow in this revival's footsteps and make sure I too pay tribute Sholem Aleichem, the man who wrote Tevye and His Daughters, the nineteenth-century story that inspired this musical. As a Fiddler devotee who can rattle off the chronology of every Broadway Tevye in her sleep, I was delighted to spot all the strides made to root Fiddler further into authenticity, highlighting the inherit brilliance of the story, from Marc Chagall nods to the infusion of Isreali folk dance. (Hofesh Shechter's choreography is SENSATIONAL.) Fiddler is always brash, but when has it been this human?

My mom, dad, sister and I are all fans of Fiddler, but it's Angela and I who dance around the kitchen to "Matchmaker." So when our parents bought us third-row tickets, we were jumping out of our skin...only to realize that we regarded the chart incorrectly. We had front row seats. (The ghosts in Tevye's Dream? One of them was practically poking my nose, leaning over the thrust. I. Was. Frightfully. Delighted.)

I've been waiting for this revival since the Freshman-year morning I first heard about it on Twitter. It's more than a week since our New York trip and I still can't stop remarking to my family--in the middle of unrelated conversation--"OH my GOSH we're so LUCKY to have seen Fiddler." I'm replaying my favorite moments in my brain--they were confrontational, sincere, benevolent, the absolute opposite of any hokey-ness one might easily slip into a golden oldie. Those biting quips--the ones that my sister and I have memorized and know are coming five minutes before the joke set-up--still made us crack up. That's the magic of Fiddler--it is always poignant, always necessary, and always brilliant. When my family went out to dinner that night, we each mentioned a moment that resonated with us, and I saw how Fiddler is the perfect family show. My dad was most affected by Tevye's fatherly decisions regarding his religion and his social standing, my mom was still laughing over Golde's bits, and my sister and I were discussing the sisters' relationships with each other. Just goes to show how effective theatre is contemplative theatre.

If you find yourself in the greatest city in the world between now and December 31st, bolt to the Broadway Theatre.

high res photos

BWW Blog: Alyssa Sileo - Fearless Fiddler: My Miracle of Miracles on September 25th
Me and the marquis

BWW Blog: Alyssa Sileo - Fearless Fiddler: My Miracle of Miracles on September 25th
The Hodel (and Chava and Bielke and Shprintze) to my Tzeitel! My favorite thing about Fiddler is that my sister and I share a love for it!

BWW Blog: Alyssa Sileo - Fearless Fiddler: My Miracle of Miracles on September 25th
Drama Desk Award-winning legend Danny Burnstein!

BWW Blog: Alyssa Sileo - Fearless Fiddler: My Miracle of Miracles on September 25th
My merch haul and beloved soon-to-be-framed Playbill...

BWW Blog: Alyssa Sileo - Fearless Fiddler: My Miracle of Miracles on September 25th
On the way to our car for our own Leave-taking...I resolved to keep Anatevka in my heart forever.

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From This Author Guest Blogger: Alyssa Sileo

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