with permission of Anold Perl
Book by Joseph Stein
Music by Jerry Bock
Lyrics by Sheldon Harnick
Original Production Directed & Choreographed by Jerome Robbins
Director: Jim Corti
Scenic Design: Kevin Depinet
Costume Design: Melissa Torchia
Lighting Design: Jesse King
Projections Design: Mike Tutaj
“Fiddler” Soars Above the Rooftops
Paramount Theater ends its Broadway series this year with a very grand finale…and what an exceptional piece of musical theater it is! Whether Paramount’s “Fiddler on the Roof” is your first experience or one of many in seeing this classic show, you will be charmed, surprised and impressed by the relevance of the story and this outstanding production.. The plot involves a very poor Jewish family in a little village of 1905 pre-revolutionary Russia. Tradition bumps up against a changing modern world overlaid with political strife. The fantastic songs and humor buffer the harder moments of reality.
Essential to a successful Fiddler is the acting of Tevye, a milkman and the father of five daughters. Imagine the audience reaction when it learns that on opening night the leading role needs the understudy, David Girolmo, for at least a week. His first monologue immediately says that we are in good hands, and if there is any doubt, his first solo song, “If I Were A Rich Man” wins everyone over. His subtle style and a lazy rolling motion causes audible chuckles from most listeners. What a performance! Girolmo uses a soft gentle manner to deliver the humorous zingers perfectly, and then comes on with explosive power and emotion when the role demands. It is hard to imagine a Tevye any better…different perhaps, but hardly better.
The second person responsible for such an outstanding show is the director, Jim Corti, making this production of Fiddler soar above most others. His attention to every detail during the show becomes obvious in the perfect timing of scenes, the lighting, and of course the delicately nuanced performances of a cast of carefully selected-very talented actors. Each actor quickly establishes their character, in part, due to their wonderful diction…you could hear every word not only in the songs, but also in the dialogue. And they could ALL sing with the excellent live-orchestra background. Some musicals add a little dancing for movement, but Corti lets you enjoy full-out Cossack boots flying, a singular modern piece, and a large cast dancing at the wedding. The simple, but very effective scenery and lighting allow comfortable space for the stage movement.
Almost every song in the Act One becomes a show stopper from audience applause. The story line in Act Two focuses on the discrimination against the Jews, making a poignant ending as they are forced to leave their little village of Anatevka. After the final curtain call, a reprise of one of the upbeat songs from Act One could have left the audience humming on the way out, but Corti opted for the dramatic honest ending. Sadly, this scene repeats itself throughout the world with multiple ethnic groups a hundred years later!
Individual shinning moments include Skyler Adams as Motel, the Tailor, when he finally finds happiness and bursts into song with “Miracle of Miracles”. Rene Matthews as Yente, the matchmaker, could not be better as she teeters across the stage giving sage but humorous advice. And Iris Lieberman as Golde, Tevye’s wife, keeps the lid on as she quizzically responds to Tevye singing, “Do you Love Me?” after their 25 years of marriage.
Finally, as a Paramount promotion piece says, “Nobody needs to be a rich man to see Fiddler on the Roof”. Prices are modest for a live orchestra, a hugely talented cast, and this remarkable production…you will remember it for a long long time, and may be very disappointed if you miss it.
Date Reviewed: March 8, 2013
For more info checkout the Fiddler on the Roof page at theatreinchicago.com
Performances: Mar 6 – 24, 2013. Wednesdays thru Sundays with matinees also on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays. Running time is 2 l/2 hours with one intermission. “Fiddler on the Roof” is rated G.
Or visit box office Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and 2 hours prior to evening performances.
8 East Galena Blvd.
Aurora, IL 60506