Theatre Review: Fiddler on the Roof

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Presented by Therry Dramatic Society
Reviewed 8 June 2017

Joseph Stein with Jerry Bock composing the music for Sheldon Harnick’s lyrics created this much-loved musical from stories. It was the first musical to be based solely on Jewish stories. Set in Russia in 1905 – unsettled times – it tells the story of Tevye, a deliverer of milk, with five daughters and their struggles to survive.

Therry’s production is true to the story; it is happy, reflective and sad, just as the original stories were. The set by Nick Spottiswoode is simple but effective and allows smooth scene changes; Jason Groves lighting complements it perfectly. Sandra Davis’ costumes have stayed true to the era, avoiding the overdressing that sometimes occurs in this musical. All of this under the watchful eye of director Norm Caddick whose experience shows. Peter Johns has put together a fine orchestra and they give this show’s beautiful music the attention it deserves. Put all this together with Kerry Hauber’s excellent choreography and a good cast and you have another winner.

David Gauci doesn’t just play Tevye, he IS Tevye with all the deliberating and the emotions, and he makes the audience feel the meaning of tradition. His delivery of If I Were A Rich Man has everyone enthralled and his delivery of Little Bird was heart rending. Matching him well as Golda is Anne Doherty; their duets together Sabbath Prayer and Do You Love Me give the partnership depth.

Georgia Broomhall (Tzeitel), Ruby Pinkerton (Hodel) and Eloise Quinn-Valentine (Chava), Tevye’s eldest daughters do a great job of Matchmaker, playing well against their beaus, Nathan Quadrio (Perchik), Jared Frost (Motel) and Sam Burt (Fyedka), with Quadrio doing a fine version of Now I Have Everything with Pinkerton, and Frost shining with his version of Miracle of Miracles.

The singing and the movement in the big numbers like Tradition, Sunrise Sunset and Anatevka were highlights and especially To Life with Gauci and Robin Schmelzkopf (as Lazar Wolf). The dream sequence featuring Sue Wylie as Grandma Tzeitel and Sandy Wandel as Fruma-Sarah was an interesting segment: innovative.

In all it was an excellent production, as Therry musicals usually are. If you miss it you will miss the chance to hear all those great songs again!

Reviewed by Fran Edwards
Twitter: @franeds

Venue: Arts Theatre Angus St Adelaide
Season: 7-17 June 2017
Duration: 2.75 hr
Tickets: Adult $32 Conc $27 Student $15 Group bookings available
Bookings: 8410 5515 (Mon-Sat noon to 5pm)

 

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