Review: FIDDLER ON THE ROOF at Golden Gate Theatre

Through March 26th, 2023.

Review: LET THE RIGHT ONE IN at Berkeley Repertory Theatre

By the time this review posts, this phenomenal touring production of ten-time Tony award winning Fiddler on the Roof will have packed up the shtetl and hit the road after a too brief 8-show run. Unfortunate for those who could not attend because Fiddler has never been so vibrant, so full of life and amazingly prescient to the alarming rise in forced immigrant migrations and rising antisemitism.

Tony-winning director Bartlett Sher (To Kill a Mockingbird) and the team behind South Pacific and The King and I, present a stunning tribute to the small town of Anatevka and its proud people facing the troubles of daily life and the impending sweeping social changes and the tragedy of the Russian anti-Jewish pogroms. Based on the original staging by Jerome Robbins, Israeli choreographer Hofesh Shechter fills the stage with movement expressing the joy of the simple life, the celebrations that bond the townsfolk and the beauty of religious ceremony.

Based on Sholem Aleichem 's stories of Tevye the milkman, Fiddler's first act may be one of the finest in Broadway history - chock full of timeless songs and resplendent in ethnic displays of tradition, social orders, faith and community. With classics like "Tradition," "If I Were a Rich Man," "Sunrise, Sunset," "Matchmaker, Matchmaker" and "To Life", its impossible not to be swept up in the affairs of Tevye, wonderfully performed Israeli actor Jonathan Hashmonay.

Review: LET THE RIGHT ONE IN at Berkeley Repertory Theatre
Yardén Barr (Chava) and Randa Meierhenry (Tzeitel) and Graceann Kontak (Hodel)

Tradition is the building block of faith, and Tevye will be tested by his three headstrong daughters who choose to marry for love rather than the time-honored process of pre-determined matches. Choices, whether it be as simple as choosing a mate or a woman reading a book or co-ed dancing are the challenges presented here. At the start of the 20th century these social adaptations were revolutionary and seen as a threat. How a simple man and his wife Golda (Maite Uzal), react makes for compelling drama tinged with moments of great humor.

The ensemble casting was superb throughout and the look and sound of this production second to none. Musical supervision by Tony Award winner Ted Sperling, scenic design by Tony Award winner Michael Yeargan, costume design by Tony Award winner Catherine Zuber, lighting design by Tony Award winner Donald Holder, sound design by Tony Award winner Scott Lehrer and Alex Neumann and hair and wig design by Tom Watson take this Fiddler to a whole new level of quality.

Photo credit: Joan Marcus

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From This Author - Steve Murray

Steve Murray is a writer for Cabaret Scenes magazine, contributor to ForAllEvents and now BroadwayWorld. He started writing rock reviews for his college newspaper in the 1970’s, produced a varie... (read more about this author)


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