Fiddler On The Roof – Dallas Summer Musicals – Review By Gadi Elkon

Rich with musical hits you know and love, including “Tradition,” “Sunrise, Sunset;’ “If I Were A Rich Man;’ “Matchmaker, Matchmaker” and “To Life (L’Chaim!),” FIDDLER ON THE ROOF is the heartwarming story of fathers and daughters, husbands and wives, and life, love and laughter.

Here is Gadi Elkon’s review of Dallas Summer Musical – FIDDLER ON THE ROOF.

Any rendition of Fiddler follows the performance of the person behind our beloved milkman, Tevye.  The legendary figure has touched many halls throughout the world.  There have been those powerhouse Tevye’s who’s booming voices shake the audience, to those sweet Tevyes who’s hearts sways the audience.  DSM’s version of Fiddler On The Roof showcases Israeli veteran Yehezkel Lazarov as our Tevye.  His quick witty demeanor is what separates his portrayal.  He has his booming moments and his “Do You Love Me?” is so sweet, but overall Lazarov wins you over with his sense of humor.  The beauty of the story behind Fiddler is through all the terrible circumstances and especially the looming final exile Tevye never loses his faith and his sense of humor.  The rest of the cast feeds off of Lazarov’s jovial delivers.  Whether it’s his hardened wife Golde (Maite Uzal) or his headstrong daughters Tzeitel (Mel Weyn) and Hodel (Ruthy Froch) these ladies play so well off their papa’s preaching pomp and stance.

Coming of age both in the form of growing daughters and their secret loves or coming into the new age of the world Fiddler is all about the hard transformation.  Perchik (Ryne Nardecchia) is a view of the change of the youth of the world to battle the tyranny of those represented by the Constable (Jeff Brooks).  Our simple milkman is forced to abandon the “Tradition” of the past to allow the modern notion of love to see his world change.  Tzeitel’s honest love with the poor tailor Motel (Jesse Weil) dominates the first act of the production.  Their love story is really the full tale of change that has garnered tour after tour of this classic production.  But it’s the radical love affair between the second oldest daughter Hodel and Perchik that signals the real nod to the changing of our world from the 19th into the 20th centuries.  The vibrant assemble is totally game to continue the Fiddler legacy by keeping it slightly fresh and authentic without ever seeming to aged.

A powerful orchestra helps add the loud resonating strength of the story.  Michael Uselmann’s conducting never leaves a character without their sonic backing.  There is a reason why “If I were a Rich Man” & “To Life” have become iconic.  The orchestration strengthens the words to a new height that sticks with you.  We all know the words but the impactful deliver is so refreshing.

Lastly is our haunting Fiddler who continues to remind us of the impending change that will impact all of our characters and their world.  His purple suit is the touch of vibrant color that acts as the red coat girl in Steven Spielberg’s Schindler’s List.  It is the constant reminder that time has already passed on by this generation.  These stories are meant to be learned lessons that can be inspirational if you need them.  The second act is a sorrowful ode to loss.  Tevye’s final connection is with his third daughter Chava.  Her love affair is the one that most resonates with current audiences, especially those productions shown outside of NYC.  Tevye’s final farewell is his most heartbreaking and tearful as he allows for his love to be given over his faith.  The constant sacrifices we see our milkman go through remind us of how life ebbs and flows without our acknowledgement.  Instead we are left to makes our choices as the time slips through our fingers.

Come for the humor and stay for the heart.  Don’t miss DSM’s season closing classic, Fiddler On The Roof.

You have till the 18th of August to see it at the Music Hall at Fair Park.  The Fiddler, Tevye and the whole family head over to beautiful Bass Performance Hall in Fort Worth for another week.  The Musical is playing from August 20-25th as part of Broadway at the Bass Series.

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