|Billboard outside the theatre. All the hype & good reviews|
of this show are not exaggerating. It really is that good.
Anyway, if you aren't familiar with the plot of Fiddler, do yourself a favor and visit a local high school show. It's a story that's 100 years old but that resonates through the ages, and is no less applicable today than it was when it was written. See it. Take your kids to see it. Bring your neighbors. Talk about how important the message is.
And so this beautiful and critical story is currently on Broadway eight times a week until December 31, and it's gorgeous and incredible and is indeed laden with happiness and tears. As much as I would like to gush about every actor in the cast, I'll try to keep it to just a few, so that you stick with me:
|Pre-show. Yep, that's how close|
I was to the stage. Yep, it starts
off empty & sets fly in and out.
And incidentally, so does the
Jessica Hecht (Golde): So, I've seen her before. So have you. She was Susan on Friends. Did I notice this during the show? I did not, because as Golde she absolutely shines and there's no way the audience can imagine her as anyone else. When she staggered on stage to tell Tevya that Chava had eloped, I couldn't even see what was happening on stage because of all the tears. Had Golde passed out right there, I wouldn't have been surprised--that's how broken she looked.
Melanie Moore (Chava): Chava has been my favourite Fiddler character since the first time I saw the show at age 10. (She's basically everybody's favourite, right?) Ms. Moore is absolute perfection as Chava. Every line, every look, every moment she was on stage-- perfect. I was so happy to get to tell her so at stage door. (Also, I'm still kind of amazed that I even recognized her at stage door, because she looks completely different in character than she does in person. Theatre is magical.)
Ben Rappaport (Perchik): Perchik is my favourite of the boys who wander in to win the hearts of Tevya's daughters. In his first scene, I thought, "Why is Perchik so angry?" But it didn't take a lot of stage time for me to realise that Mr. Rappaport's emotional levels were consistently perfect for a character with so much going on under the surface. In his final scene, when Hodel agrees to marry Perchik, his oh-so-deadpan "I am very happy, Hodel," had the audience giggling, but it was absolutely brilliant and just the right touch.
Alix Korey (Yente): "Of course, right." Who doesn't love Yente?
Adam Kantor (Motel): Gets a special mention because Motel is kind of goofy and awkward for his first couple of scenes onstage, only to go through a tremendous amount of growth in that first act, and then--here's the important part--sustain grownup-Motel for the rest of the show when it would be easy to slip back into the lovelorn guy with no self-confidence that so delights the audience at the beginning. Adam Kantor does it beautifully.
Okay, okay, I'm stopping! No stage door pics for this show, because my phone's battery was on its last legs at that point, but the cast were all wonderful at stage door and I was delighted to give the signed playbill to my mother--it's been her favourite show her whole life. In fact, I'm hoping to take her to NYC in a couple months' time to see the show before it closes. And if you possibly can make it to New York before December 31, I urge you to do the same.