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Fiddler on the Roof - Yorkshire Post Liz Coggins

28th Feb 2014

There’s a real fiddler on the roof, a cellist in the bedroom, a rabbi playing the bassoon and a backyard crammed with musicians. The reason?

After 50 years, Fiddler on the Roof has been repackaged and become an actor-musician show where every cast member plays their own instrument and with some brilliant orchestrations by Sarah Travis.

It works wonderfully The tale of Tevye, a milkman living in Tsarist Russia, who struggles to maintain his domestic and religious traditions against a backdrop of radical change and his three daughters who defy him by choosing their own “matches” started life as a series of tales written in Yiddish by Sholem Aleichem, before it was turned into a musical and an Oscar-winning film.

Craig Revel Horwood’s production has pace and passion and remains faithful to Jerome Robbins’ original direction and choreography although his interpretation of the Cossack/Jewish dance would have been more at home at a ceilidh or hoedown as it lacks pure Russian style.

As Tevye, Paul Michael Glaser, who played Perchik in the 1971 film, seems to struggle with his role in the early scenes. At times his dialogue is indistinct and he lacks the vocal power to do justice to the score especially the show’s hit song If I Was A Rich Man.

However, in the second act he really comes into his own with poignant and heartfelt moments that are pure gold.

Fiddler is a production packed with talent, teamwork and some wonderful cameo roles and if you have never experienced an actor-musician show it’s worth making that special effort.