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Posts Tagged ‘Jewish tradition’

It’s almost 20 years since I saw Fiddler on the Roof, at the Alexandra Theatre in Birmingham, so I was due another performance, and had the absolute pleasure of seeing it at the Grand Theatre, Wolverhampton, with the iconic Paul Michael Glaser, heading the cast as the Jewish milkman Tevye.  Set in the poor Russian village of Anatevka in 1905, the story – taken from a collection of stories by Sholem Aleichem – revolves around Tevye’s attempts to find good husbands for his eldest three daughters, while also trying to maintain his family’s Jewish traditions in a changing world.

The most famous song from Fiddler is of course If I Were A Rich Man – which Glaser performed wonderfully – but the show is packed with wonderful music, all delivered by an excellent cast, most of whom played the instruments for the songs while in character.  The eponymous fiddler on the roof was the excellent Jennifer Douglas, who is present as an observing character throughout most of the show.

Although there is much humour to be found in Tevye’s determination to marry his daughters off to men of whom he approves, while they themselves have other ideas(!), Fiddler does deal with some serious subjects, especially that of the Jewish people being turned out of their own homes.  This brought a touch of pathos to the show and I was genuinely moved at the end.

Craig Revel-Horwood choreographed the show, and his talent is obvious in such marvellous sequences as the Matchmaker song, performed by the three eldest daughters, and especially Tevye’s dream, which had the audience in fits of laughter.

I’m somewhat reluctant to single out specific members of the cast for praise, as they were all excellent, but Paul Michael Glaser showed that he has lost none of his charisma in his superb performance, and Karen Mann matched him perfectly as his wife Golde.  Emily O’Keefe, Liz Singleton and Claire Petzal were also superb as the three eldest daughters.  However, there was not a weak link at all amongst the cast, and every single one of them deserved the enthusiastic applause which they received.

(For more information about this production, please click here.)

 

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