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Theatre Review—Exuberant, Enthusiastic ‘Fiddler On The Roof’ At The Pantages

Yehezkel Lazarov as Tevye in "Fiddler On The Roof." Photo by Joan Marcus
Three of Tevye's five daughters played by Natalie Anne Powers, Mel Weyn and Ruthy Froch. Photo by Joan Marcus

Posted Friday, April 26, 2019 - 9:28 pm

By Jerry Cutler

Fiddler On the Roof currently at the Pantages Theatre is an enthusiastic and pleasing rendition of Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick’s iconic 1964 musical. Since it fist arrived and was heralded on Broadway, the show has played throughout the world and probably beyond.

The exuberant cast is terrific, with a few exceptions, and the dancing and songs such as L’Chaim-To Life!, If I Were A Rich Man, Sunrise, Sunset and Tradition are presented with enough spirit to open a brewery.

The opening night audience was joyously receptive from the moment the curtain opened to when it rang down. The laughter generated from Joseph Stein’s book was uniformly uproarious.

Yechezkel Lazarov, as the beleaguered milkman, Tevya, facing the unenviable task of marrying off five daughters (personally, I have two more to go) convulses the audience with his contorted facial expressions initially concocted by the brilliant Zero Mostel

The scenery and cast has been cut down from the original production, but no one who was privy to seeing it seemed to notice or care thanks to the bombastic musical numbers and Mr. Lazarov and his supporting cast, notably Maite Uzal as Golde, Jonathan Van Mering as Lazar Wolf, Jesse Weil as Motel and Jeffrey Busko as the friendly but unrelenting Constable. The daughters were uniformly excellent.

Fiddler On The Roof soars throughout the evening with the audience mouthing the words to the songs and ready to jump on stage, if given the opportunity, especially during the exciting rendition of The Bottle Dance.

If you’ve ever seen the show, I highly recommend that you see it again. If you haven’t, take the kids and neighbors and friends, go and enjoy!

Rating: 3-1/2 Bagels out of 4

At the Hollywood Pantages through May 5 at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa, May 7-19.

Jerry Cutler is rabbi at the Creative Arts Temple.

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