“Fiddler On The Roof” Is A Triumph At The Muny

fid-milkcart

Photo: Phillip Hamer

It’s one of those shows that you see over and over again- and for good reason. “Fiddler On The Roof” is not only iconic, it has become a “tradition.” This one at the Muny is one for the ages- it all works with an outstanding cast, great interpretation from director Gary Griffin and that marvelous Bock and Harnick music. In fact, Sheldon Harnick was on hand as he was inducted into the Muny Hall Of Fame during this run.

fid-tradition

Photo: Phillip Hamer

Michael McCormick is one of the best Tevye’s I’ve seen. A somewhat low key performance but one that captures the spirit and demeanor of the milk man who struggles with his faith, his wife and his five daughters. Together with Anne L. Nathan as Golde-another great performance, they make “Do You Love Me” one of the most touching renditions you’ll ever see.

fid-canopy

Photo: Phillip Hamer

The three daughters who buck tradition and actually find mates on their own rather than going with someone chosen for them by Yente, the Matchmaker, are all delightful. In the wonderful song called “Matchmaker,” they literally sweep us away on the winds of change. The oldest, Tzeitel, is a delightful Haley Bond. She has chosen shy but determined Motel over Yente’s choice, Lazar Wolf the butcher. Motel is played with charm by Alan Schumuckler. Middle daughter Hodel is given a sweet performance by Briana Carlson-Goodman and she has decided to set her sights on the scholarly Perchik, played by Marrick Smith. Finally, the most rebellious of all is Chava who truly defies everyone’s wishes by choosing the militant Fyedka. Carly Blake Sebouhian and Colby Dezelick make a lovely pair.

fid-tolife

Photo: Phillip Hamer

Nice work as well by Peter Van Wagner as Lazar Wolf and Nancy Opel as Yente and as the ghost of Lazar’s wife, Fruma-Sarah during Tevye’s dream sequence. As usual, the ensemble playing both minor roles and in the singing and dancing chorus are wonderful. This is one polished show. Choreographer Alex Sanchez mixes the traditional dances with some new, inventive moves and musical director Brad Haak plays a flawless score. The Robert Mark Morgan scene design is minimal- more in line with what this desolate city of Anatevka probably looks like and it is all well lighted by Rob Denton’s design. Amy Clark’s costumes finish the show beautifully.

fid-dream

Photo: Phillip Hamer

It’s different but still the exciting “Fiddler” at it’s heart. From “Tradition” to the plaintiff “Anatevka” and all the poignancy of the actual fiddler on the roof throughout, this is a classic Muny production. “Fiddler On The Roof” will be followed by the last show of the season, Elton John’s “Aida,” opening August 8th.

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