THEATRE REVUE: Fiddler Breaks Tradition for its Farewell Tour

Nearly forty years ago on the Great White Way, America was introduced to the beloved musical, Fiddler on the Roof, at the Imperial Theatre. Fiddler tells the story of a milkman who is used to the old traditions while the village of Anatevka turns upside down. With Zero Mostel at the helm on September 22, 1964; Fiddler has reached new heights by earning eleven Tony awards, countless revivals and a movie adaptation.  Now the famous musical we had grown to love will tour across America one more time for its final swan song. If I were a rich man, I would go see this musical before it goes off into the sunset.

Broadway staple Harvey Fierstein delivers his own chutzpah to the role Tevye, the dairyman. Fierstein, who is known for his roles in Torch Song Trilogy and Hairspray, breaks the norm by his own voice. With the rasp in his voice, he illuminates the stage in every scene with his charming personality. Fierstein carries so much compassion to his role of Tevye that you could not take your eyes off him. You would never think that one wide milkman could make jokes and talk with God and have the audience understand what you are going through.

Fiddler showed no signs of slowing down when it came to its musical numbers.  When you hear the wonderful sugary notes of “Matchmaker, Matchmaker” and the melancholic sounds of “Sunrise, Sunset”, you would appreciate for the very first time all over again!Every actor hit their note with their heads held high and not one dancer missed a beat. Even the actual fiddler brought the house down with his impressive style. Fierstein’s rendition of “If I Were a Rich man” is so brilliant that it seems like the song takes on a whole new meaning.

Set designer Steve Gilliam and costume designer Tony Ray truly capture the life of Anatevka on the eve of Anti-Semitic revolution that changed the course of Russia in 1905. Choreographer Sammy Dallas Bayes re-creates the energy and excitement of the traditional folk dances from the original run to superb results.

Fiddler continues to raise the roof after four decades on the stage. Don’t break tradition by missing out on this wonderful musical. Fiddler on the Roof: Farewell Tour is current playing at the National Theatre through May 2nd. Tickets are available thru Telecharge.