Fiddler On the Roof, written by Joseph Stein (book), Jerry Bock (music) and Sheldon Harnick (lyrics), is one of those musicals that I’ve heard of but never seen. This touring production, starring Paul Michael Glaser as Tevye, made me want to watch the film. Choreographed by Strictly‘s Craig Revel Horwood, it is thoroughly entertaining, well performed and moving.
The story of a Jewish village in 1905 Russia, just before they are forced to leave their homes, the musical tells of Tevye, the principled but kindhearted father of five girls, and his bid to find them – the three eldest at least – a nice Jewish husband, complicated by the fact that they all seem to be falling for the wrong guy. Warm and funny, the musical has a darker side which comes out towards the end of the show. The cast is superb: most of the actors also wield instruments, which fit in well with their characters, while a live fiddle player, Jennifer Douglas, wields her instrument from the roof. I also loved the set, with its impressive revolving house – I wouldn’t like to be the one responsible for dismantling that at the end of every run.
Evoking a sense of community, and making you really care about the characters, this is a superb production of the classic musical and one which is well worth seeing.