STRICTLY COME DANCING JUDGE
Fiddler on the Roof - The Public Reviews, Iris Beaumont6th Nov 2013
There have been many professional revivals of Fiddler on the Roof over the past ten years, but none have come as close to perfection as Craig Revel Horwood’s stunning actor musician production currently touring the UK. Revel Horwood has become one of the finest directors of the genre and again his partnership with orchestrator and musical director Sarah Travis is worth more than its weight in gold.
Set in 1905 Fiddler on the Roof tells the story of Jewish milkman Teyve, his wife and their five daughters, struggling to make a living in the more than traditional village of Anatevka. Teyve loves his daughters and would move heaven and earth to make them happy, but faced with hostility from outside forces, and much animosity for being Jewish, Teyve and his family wonder if life will ever go their way.
Teyve played by Paul Michael Glaser – probably best known for his iconic roles as Starsky in 70s cop drama Starsky and Hutch, Glaser more than manages to shake of the law enforcing image, and prove that this is more than a stunt/celebrity casting. Glaser really embodies the role, producing a powerful portrayal with so much emotion, throw in the pitch perfect accent and a bit of “Dad” dancing and he manages to mix the pathos perfectly with the humour.
Casting Director Anne Vosser has pulled in a cast that gel and fit together in perfect harmony, they not only all suit the role they play, but to do it and produce quadruple threat performances in nothing short of staggering, here the cast act, sing, dance and play instruments to bring the world of Anatevka to life.
Karen Mann as Teyve’s sharp tongued wife Golde, balance the determined and sensitive matriarchal sides of the role with staggering ease, whilst Emiy O’Keefe (Tzeitel), Liz Singleton (Hodel) and Claire Petzel (Chava) delight as Teyve’s young daughters. Credit must also be given to Jennifer Douglas as in the titular role, and with Revel Horwoods decision to have her around every time Teyve has a decision to make proves especially poignant and powerful.
Revel Horwood’s direction is sublime, here he manages to make the use of instruments within the action blend perfectly making it seem like the most natural thing to be doing, his tight ensemble nail the tricky juggling act with aplomb, never detracting from the overall shape of the production but instead simply heightening and lifting the production to new levels which leave the show with a strong pace and proves to be uniformly engaging. One must also credit Sarah Travis with much of the shows success her orchestrations are deliciously rich and probably provided the biggest headache for a show of this ilk.
Diego Pitarch’s set design may look relatively simple to begin with but his revolving village set is something to behold, from the initial view of two villages houses to the internal aspects of the homes themselves, combined with the costumes also by Pitarch the concept evokes a bygone era beautifully realised.
Fiddler on the Roof is musical theatre at its finest and with a sharp ensemble led by a staggering central performance from Paul Michael Glaser, you will be kicking yourself from Sunrise to Sunset if you miss it.