Academy Player's current production "Fiddler on the Roof" is a splendid example of how a successful musical should be done. Director Michael Farrelly blends the many tragic and comic moments together to make a show the audience can relate to easily. The well known story of Russian milkman Tevye, his wife Golde and their five daughters plus 39 other cast members breathe life into this tale. Michael is aided in this task expertly by musical director Lila Kane and her wonderful orchestra(Lila's two daughters Meg and Sarah are in the show, too) as well as by choreographer Tom DeSimone who moves 45 people in the opening number. The set, costumes and lighting of the show proves Michael's eye for accuracy of 1905 Russia. Breathtaking moments from start to finish make this a must see show.
Chuck Reifler plays the demanding role of Tevye. He brings warmth to this strict Jewish father. Chuck also brings much laughter with his facial expressions and delivery of his comic lines. The relationship with his wife Golde and his love of her and his daughters give the character the three dimension it needs. His vocal prowess shows through in his solos, "Tradition", "If I Were a Rich Man" and his duets with Golde and Lazar Wolfe. Standout moments are his "Do You Love Me?" song and his goodbye scenes with Hodel and Chava especially the "Little Bird" song.
Maureen Noel as Golde has a lot of chemistry with Chuck. Their adverserial relationship comes across to the audience and her admittance of love after 25 years becomes more poignant because of it. Maureen's vocal ability stands out in "Sunrise,Sunset" and "Anatevka" numbers. Her funniest line is when she tells Tevye he frightens her so much, she'll faint once she gets home. Maureen also cries on cue when she finds out Chava has been disowned by Tevye for marrying outside their faith. Great job with the comic and emotional parts of this character.
Kat Arcoraci as Tzeitel and Ed Carusi as Motel shone in their roles as the oldest daughter and her true love. The daughters "Matchmaker" number is terrific and Ed's "Miracle of Mircles" number is, too. His character changes from a meek mouse to a person with a backbone.It makes these two people interesting to watch. Wonderful voices and acting from all three couples.( One of the funniest scenes is "The Dream" which helps Motel and Tzeitel get married. Maryann Ricci as Grandma and Roberta Anderson as Fruma Sarah stop the show with their white faces and fright wigs. Roberta chases 30 some people off the stage and threatens Tevye and Golde at the same time. It is a sight to see.)
The second couple, Perchik the revolutionary student(James Calitri) and Hodel(Tara Beaulieu) do a dynamite job in their roles. He does an excellent job with his difficult number "Now I Have Everything" as Tara does with the most beautiful number in the show "Far From The Home I Love". Their acting is just as good as their singing. The third couple Chava (Amanda Castore) and Fyedka(Dan Fisher) show the audience how people of different faiths can be happy together. Amanda's crying scene with her father brings tears to your eyes and is a must see scene. Very talented foursome. Other examples of wonderful acting in the show come from seasoned actor Tony Prichard as the innkeeper playing an older character by lowering his vocal range and from Jason Marchetti as the Rabbi's son who stands out in all his scenes with his strong delivery of lines and his listening to the others in the scenes and giving good facial expressions and responses. Outstanding choreography is the bottle dancers at the wedding. Tom makes these talented men move pefectly without dropping the bottles on their head. The "To Life" dance is another example of men dancing very well. Carl Ruggiero and Chuck make the acting in this scene come alive. Carl(Lazar) handles the comedy in this scene perfectly. This man does comedy, drama and directs very well, too. An outstanding vocal part of the show is handled by tenor, David Daliadre who voice soars in the Russian part of "To Life". David dances as well as he sings. It's always good to see a talented newcomer at Academy.
Michael, cast and crew have a successful run and see you at next season's shows.