Observational Comedy Meets Discerning Subject Matter
It’s hard to imagine a time in history when being Jewish was ever easy. As Tevye (Scott Wentworth) discovers at the turn of the 20th century in a small Russian town, outdated traditions and social unrest can certainly make a man of God look to the sky and ask what ever could he have done to deserve this. “It’s a new world,’ he concludes
Despite a life of poverty raising five daughters, Scott Wentworthy as Tevye (right) finds himself catering to the needs of others with Jacquelyn French as Hodel (left) presenting her case. The Stratford Festival presenation of ‘Fiddler On The Roof’ instills great warmth at the dawning of a new age.
And with Donna Feore directing this cultural feast for the senses, a cast of almost 30 performers are brilliantly unified in song and dance to breathe new life into one of the most celebrated musicals of all time.
On one level, Fiddler On The Roof is an observational comedy amid changing times which drives the dominant theme of tradition throughout the show. Yet the rock solid plot transitions into more discerning subject matter to give the story eternal shelf life.
When song arching numbers such as ‘If I Were A Rich Man,’ ‘To Life,’ and ‘Matchmaker’ advance the story, only then do you begin to wonder why contemporary composition is sadly such a lost art.
No other actor on the scene can bring as much charm and depth to story’s central character better than Scott Wentworth. The milk cart pulling father adapts to his needs of his daughters on a case by case basis but when customs, approval, and defiance enter the mix, his tenure on the Stratford stage illuminates the notion of struggle like you were living it from your own seat.
Review by Jonathan O’Neil
FIDDLER ON THE ROOF
By Joseph Stein and Jerry Beck
Apr. 23 – Oct 20, 2013
Scott Wentworth, Kate Hennig
Jennifer Stewart, Jacquelyn French
Keely Hutton, Krista Leis
Anna Gough, Effie Honeywell
Gabrielle Jones, Steve Ross
Andre Morin, Mike Nadajewski
Paul Nolan, Brad Rudy
Sam Moses, Jeremy Kushnier
Robert Markus, Matthew G. Brown
Larry Herbert, Lee Siegel
Barbara Fulton, Jewelle Blackman
Sean Hauk, Valerie Hawkins
Gary Kidd, Julius Sermonia