Theatre ReviewsTom Williams

Fiddler on the Roof

Based on Sholem Aleichem’s storiesfiddler on the roof at marriott theatre

Book by Joseph Stein

Music by Jerry Bock

Lyrics by Sheldon Harnick

Directed and Choreographed by David H. Bell

Musical Director Doug Peck

At  the Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire

Fiddler still celebrates the human spirit

Director David H. Bell’s curious decisions and provocative casting choices made his production of the classic Fiddler on the Roof a strange affair.  Granted accommodations must be made for Marriott Theatre’s in-the-round stage, the cluttered opening scene and some casting choices muddled an other wise solid production.

fiddler on the roof at marriott theatre

The strength of this production comes from musical arrangements by Doug Peck has been sculpted to stress the soulful, Klezmer qualities of Bock and Harnick’s sumptuous score. The ensemble work was excellent. Paula Scrofano’s Golde and the three daughters: Dara Cameron (Hodel), Jessie Mueller (Tzeitel) and Laura Scheinbaum (Chaava) each did yeomen work. David Girolmo (Lazar Wolf) and Justin Berkobien (Perchik) gave strong performances.

fiddler on the roof at marriott theatre

My main problem with this solid production was the miscast Ross Lehman as Tevye.  While I love Lehman’s body of work, I do believe he is one of the finest, funniest comic actors working on stage, he is not appropriate to play Tevye. Try as he might, Lehamn can’t help but play the devout religious defender of his traditions without the bittersweet, sharp-edged Jewish humor. Lehman’s tendency to milk bits to mind all their humor tends to make Tevye more of a clown than a troubled man trying to maintain a balance in a changing world. I just couldn’t believe Lehman’s interpretation of Tevye. Yet, I must say that the opening night audience seemed to love the funny spin Lehman put on the milk man as he struggles with his three daughters strong wills.

fiddler on the roof at marriott theatre ross lehman

Taken as a complete musical, this Fiddler does contain enough of the essence Sholem Aleichem’ s stories of the Jews living in 1905 Russia to satisfy most audiences.

Somewhat Recommended

Tom Williams

Fiddler on the Roof will continue through April 25, 2010 at the Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire. The show runs 2 hours 40 minutes with intermission.  Performances are Wednesday at 1 p.m. and 8 p.m., Thursday and Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 4:30 p.m. and 8 p.m., and Sunday at 1 p.m. and 5 p.m.  Tickets are $45 and there are student and senior discounts available, but not on Friday and Saturday nights. Dinner packages are available, so call the box office at 847-634-0200 or visit

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