Thursday, March 8

Theater Review: Broadway Across America Fiddler on the Roof

It’s good to revisit a classic every once in awhile. A meandering stroll along the path of nostalgia…
It’s good for the soul. It gives a little perspective. Broadway Across America’s “Fiddler on the Roof” provides that opportunity.

On stage in the Murat Theatre at Old National Centre, March 6 – 11, the tale takes us to a village being thrust into a future of unknowns. Starring John Preece as main character Tevye, the show wraps around a family with five daughters, all of whom are at, or near, marrying age.

Comedic touches, along with a tremendous voice, keep this story of being uprooted by war and hatred from becoming too dark. It does bring into focus how the unwillingness to accept differences results in destruction of families, villages and countries.

Preece’s soothing vocals were strong throughout his performance as the patriarch of the family. His confidence on stage may come from the 1,780 performances of portraying the Jewish dairy farmer and currently in his 10th tour in the program. The shots at gruffness were belied by vulnerable undercurrents and love for his daughters.
Attempts to point to just one song showcasing his talent more than any other is futile, but audience, and personal, favorites would include “To Life” and “Sunrise, Sunset” with wife, Golde.
Playing matriarch Golde is Gerri Weagraff giving as much spunk and feistiness as she was getting….and then some. Her sparring matches with Tevye, and Yente the Matchmaker, played admirably by Pamela D. Chanora, are pure enjoyment.

Vocals, acting and dancing stayed at a high range with the Bottle Dance by the entire company the preeminent scene of the evening.
The most satisfying factor of the performance is the fabulous energy and strong talent of the entire cast. It truly is the highest level of showmanship seen this entire season from BAA.

Bottom Line: Broadway Across America’s Fiddler on the Roof gives a great opportunity to revisit or share the classic with a whole new generation.

For tickets, schedule and information, visit OldNationalCentre.com
Photo credit: Carol Rosegg

Elizabeth J. Musgrave is a syndicated columnist, travel writer, performing arts and restaurant critic. Catch her as Indy’s Arts & Entertainment Adviser on 93 WIBC, and follow her on Twitter @GottaGo, LinkedIn and Facebook. Gotta Go is published in M magazine and the following newspapers: South Sider Voice, Indiana Weekender, New Palestine Reporter, Pendleton Times Reporter and Fortville-McCordsville Reporter.

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