Beacon Editor Jessica Zaluzec caught “Fiddler on the Roof” this weekend at the Kravis Center. Check out what she thought of the production, the cast and the notable orchestra.
“Matchmaker, matchmaker, make me a match, look through your book and make me a perfect match.” The Kravis Center for the Performing Arts has found the perfect match as they recently hosted Broadway Across America’s Fiddler on the Roof guest starring, Israeli actor Chaim Topol.
The musical takes place in early 20th century Russia. Tevye, played by Topol, and his wife, Golde, have five daughters. The family is poor, and they’re trying to marry the girls off through the services of the village matchmaker, but times are changing and the girls are discovering their own true loves. In addition, there are religious difficulties, and the Russian government gets involved in the villagers’ lives, but Tevye, his family and his friends remain steadfast in their belief that the old traditions will carry them forward and continue to bring them happiness and success.
Topol gave an outstanding performance Friday night. From the first song, “Tradition” to the last song “Anatevka,” his eyes, hand and foot works were the markings of a master. After all, he is not a guest to the role. He originated the role on London’s West End, starred in the 1971 film adaptation of the play in which he won a Golden Globe and was nominated for an Academy Award and has been in one revival after another ever since. Besides Topol’s perfect performance, the group did an outstanding job. Each actor played their part with passion. I could honestly relate to the character’s feelings. I laughed with them during songs like “If I were a Rich Man”; I cried with them with songs like and “Sunrise, Sunset.” I felt was right up there dancing with the cast. Afterwards, I found myself humming and tapping my foot to the songs. I can’t forget to commend the orchestra. They were right on cue; the music was awe-inspiring.
Fiddler on the Roof is a sweet, moving family musical; I highly recommend.