Friday, April 17, 2009

Kravis Center: Fiddler on the Roof (2 reviews)

http://img.coxnewsweb.com/B/07/81/45/image_8545817.jpgThe National Tour of Fiddler on the Roof opened on Wednesday, April 15 at the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts.

Sammy Dallas Bayes directed and re-created Jerome Robbin's orginal choreography for this toru. Chaim Topol, who played the role on London's West End and in the Norman Jewison film version, stars once again as Tevye, the Milkman.

Kevin Thompson reviews for the Palm Beach Post:
Most actors will tell you they get bored very easily. Playing the same role over and over is not something they relish or enjoy.

If Chaim Topol feels that way, well, you'd never know it.
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Let's face it: He may not be as spry or agile as he was in his younger days, but he still has enough energy and charisma to put most men his age to shame. It almost looks as if he's playing the role for the first time.
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Fiddler remains a wonderfully entertaining show, and the cast is top-shelf. The musical numbers, particularly Tradition, Matchmaker, Matchmaker and Do You Love Me? are vibrant, emotional and keep the story moving forward.
Jan Sjostrom reviewed for the Palm Beach Daily News:
No one portrays Fiddler on the Roof's hapless milkman more convincingly than Chaim Topol...In fact, he towers over the rest of the cast, which makes this an uneven production that flags when Topol's not on stage.
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Bayes' concept for the set, which was designed by Steve Gilliam, is marvelous, though. It consists of several multi-sided pieces that zip around the stage against a stunning backdrop of sky and rooftops.

A few voices and performances stand out. Jamie Davis as Hodel has such a honey-toned voice it's a shame there's only one solo number for her. Mary Stout plays Yente the matchmaker with delightful spunk and irony.

Fiddler's strong points are its touching story, self-deprecating wit and occasional catchy tune. But without Topol, this show would be as shaky as a fiddler on the roof.

Fiddler on the Roof plays at the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts through this Sunday, April 19.

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