Thursday, June 23, 2016

Fiddler on the Roof

It was such a treat to see the Broadway revival of Fiddler on the Roof last week!

I remember loving the movie version as a kid, and we had the stage soundtrack so I listened to the music all the time. I had also seen a couple of productions at summer camp, I think. So I was very familiar with the material.

The current version really brought me back. It was a double whammy of nostalgia, because Fiddler itself is steeped in nostalgia. As Tevye's traditional ways of life in a Russian shtetl begin to disintegrate he is nostalgic for the past; it is also infused with the nostalgia of the original writers, for the lost cohesion of Jewish communities both from violent pogroms and the ultimately devastating Holocaust.

It was amazing to me how perfectly I remembered the music. I had to stop myself from singing along. The sentimental show is strong because of the narrative economy (a lot happens in each scene), the singular iconic character of Tevye, the simple and contagious musical numbers, and the combination of sorrow and joy that fuels it. I was particularly roused by the dancing, particularly moved by the Chavala song, and chilled when the family disperses, especially when Tzeitl states that she and her husband and baby are going to Poland.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

So On Target.. A story that will never grow old... And this last version was particularly brilliant!