BWW Review: FIDDLER ON THE ROOF at the Eccles Theater Has a Stark Elegance
The national tour of Bartlett Sher's recent Broadway revival of FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, currently playing at the Eccles Theater, has a stark elegance in its design and direction, which are at once new and familiar.
FIDDLER ON THE ROOF (based on the Sholem Aleichem stories by special permission of Arnold Perl, book by Joseph Stein, music by Jerry Bock, lyrics by Sheldon Harnick) is a classic musical that needs no introduction. With many well-known songs that are pervasive in popular culture, this story of Tevye and his Jewish community transcends boundaries with its universal themes of intolerance and familial love and especially resonates with Utah's past.
Tevye's expectations of life are entrenched in tradition, including the pairing of his three daughters with suitable husbands by a matchmaker. But when fate leads them to make their own matches, it is only the beginning of the changes in store.
Israeli artist Yehezkel Lazarov is the soul of the show, winning over the audience almost instantaneously and filling the stage with his warm, conflicted take on Tevye that contrasts Maite Uzal's unyielding but devoted Golde.
Also making an impression as the trio of young couples are Kelly Gabrielle Murphy as Tzeitel, Nick Siccone as Motel, Ruthy Froch as Hodel, Nic Casaula as Perchik, Noa Luz Barenblat as Chava, and Jack O'Brien as Fyedka.
The costume design by Tony winner Catherine Zuber brings the village of Anatevka to life through an array of fabrics, colors, and styles that suggest a historical turn-of-the-century reality.
The scenic design by Tony winner Michael Yeargan has a feeling of sparseness to it that fits well with the bleak setting and somber direction. The lighting by Tony winner Donald Holder fills the space with similar solemnity but erupts with elegant color when the action is joyful and when the audience is invited into Tevye's mind.
Because despite the dark underpinnings, this production ultimately celebrates community, love, and hope.
FIDDLER ON THE ROOF plays the Eccles Theater for a limited engagement through Sunday, January 26, 2020. For tickets, call ArtTix at 801-355-ARTS (2787) or visit www.artsaltlake.org.
Photo Credit: Cast of FIDDLER ON THE ROOF. Photo by Joan Marcus.