18 – 22 March 2014
Reviewed by Jenny Seymour
I couldn’t wait to see this show. Having been in the chorus of my secondary school production in the 1980s, I had high expectations of a production with Craig Revel Horwood as the choreographer and it did not disappoint. Whilst the choreography and production stayed true to the original film score with Topol, it had its own unique touches which were great.
The original Oscar-award winning film with Topol as Tevye and Paul Michael Glaser as Perchik was released in 1971. Now, some 40 odd years later, we see Paul Michael Glaser playing the ultimate role of Tevye. Times may have changed for Mr Glaser (best known for his role in Starsky and Hutch), but the “tradition” of the Fiddler of the Roof remains! The production stayed true to the Jewish faith and played out some typical traditions of the faith and the Ukrainian villagers from the Sabbath prayer, a Jewish wedding and the bottle dance.
The musical tells the story of Tevye (a poor milkman) and his sharp-tongued wife Golde who are Jewish villagers trying to find “matches” for their 5 daughters without any dowry, whilst the world around them is changing. The local matchmaker tries to find them matches, but there aren’t many perfect catches in the local village of Anatevka. Will Tevye break from tradition to allow them to marry for true love?
All of the music is played on stage and sung by the cast and sounded incredible. It had a true klezmer feel and it was very authentic. I felt as though I was back in Eastern Europe (although every now and again some of the accents faltered!).
I thought the show was quite long (2 hours 55 minutes with a 20 minute interval) – but I was engrossed from the moment the fiddler played her first note on stage until her last in the epilogue.
With a show so well known, it will face a lot of critique. However, there were some fabulous performances – Liz Singleton as Hodel (beautiful touching voice), Liz Kitchen as Yente and Grandma Tzeitel, Karen Mann as Golde (the suffering wife of Tevye, the Milkman) and of course, Michael Paul Glaser himself as Tevye. His comic timing and facial expressions were great. Although these were standout performances, the whole cast was very strong.
The “dream scene” was also done very well with Grandma Tzeitel popping up in the bed and Fruma-Sarah herself literally rising up from the dead.
Once again such a unique adaptation of this traditional musical. Get a ticket if you can!
Please note – the theatre only has an arrangement with the Q Park car park (you get 1 hour free parking) so bear this in mind when parking, as the car park next to the Crucible is quite expensive!
There was also a bit of a queue for the Q-Park when leaving as everyone parks there for the theatre.
Tickets cost from £19 to £32 (plus transaction fee).
For more information or to book tickets call the Box Office on 0114 249 6000 or book online here.
Sheffield Theatres Trust, 55 Norfolk Street, Sheffield, S1 1DA