note: entire contents copyright 2008 by Beverly Creasey
FIDDLER ON THE ROOF has become a classic of modern musical theater. Until you see it again, you forget how charming and genuinely moving it is. The Fiddlehead Theatre’s exceptionally fine FIDDLER, sadly, closed this weekend. “True? Of course, true,” as Yenta says.
Fiddlehead’s lovely production added some subtle, little touches to the story which resonate large. Director Stacey Stephens anchored the character of Tevye in reality --- which paid off in a hint of forgiveness at the end of the story. Robert Soaud avoided the caricature and played the milkman with strength and vitality, as well as the requisite humor. It’s a remarkable balance and Saoud triumphed in the role. Ellen Peterson, too, as his longsuffering wife, managed a more gentle and loving Golde than most, making their “Do You Love Me” duet especially sweet.
Wendy Hall and David Costa created a ramped up, pounding “Riverdance” rhythm for the majestic “Tradition” number and a sensational romp for the “To Life” celebration, one of the many reasons to savor this particular production. Stephens designed the gorgeous (Sunrise/Sunset) stylized tree-filled set (lit in silhouette by Kristen Hayes) as well as the evocative peasant costumes.
You should have seen it for Costa’s sleek performance as Motel the tailor and for Eliza Xenakis’ winning Tzeitel, as well as solid supporting work from John Davin, Gregory Jon Bonin, Katrina Shinay and Hayley Richelson.