Tuesday, November 13, 2007
The play's the thing!
I recently saw an amazing high school production of the classic Broadway musical Fiddler on the Roof. There was nary a flubbed line or misstep the entire night. It was a professional-level production. The main character, a milkman named Tevye, was played by a high school senior, and he spoke and sang with the voice of an aged Jewish man and even grew his beard out for the production. I was impressed by the quality and enthusiasm of this incredible show!
Fiddler is set in pre-Revolutionary Tsarist Russia and focuses on the life of Tevye and his family, and it gives us a glimpse into Jewish Eastern European life during a time of turmoil and unrest. Tevye tries to maintain family, cultural, and religious traditions while the world around him rapidly changes. The fiddler in the play, who is seen throughout the production but does not have any lines, is a metaphor for survival in a life of uncertainty. It is a poignant and funny show. Here are some of my favorite lines:
Tevye (opening lines of the play): A fiddler on the roof. Sounds crazy, no? But here, in our little village of Anatevka, you might say every one of us is a fiddler on the roof trying to scratch out a pleasant, simple tune without breaking his neck. It isn’t easy. You may ask ‘Why do we stay up there if it’s so dangerous?’ Well, we stay because Anatevka is our home. And how do we keep our balance? That I can tell you in one word: Tradition!
Perchik: Money is the world’s curse.
Tevye: May the Lord smite me with it. And may I never recover.
Tevye (to God): Sometimes I think, when it gets too quiet up there, you say to yourself, ‘What kind of mischief can I play on my friend Tevye?’
High school productions are so fun. It was great to see such a talented and lively cast of young people. I had seen Fiddler years ago but appreciated it so much more this time around. Next up for me is A Christmas Carol, an all-time favorite story. After that I’ll be rounding out the year with Jesus Christ Superstar, Jersey Boys, and the Radio City Christmas Spectacular starring the Rockettes. I can't wait!