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‘Fiddler’ revival disappointing

Linda Armstrong | 3/3/2016, midnight
I was so excited to hear that there was a revival of “Fiddler on the Roof” playing at the Broadway ...
"Fiddler on the Roof"

I was so excited to hear that there was a revival of “Fiddler on the Roof” playing at the Broadway Theatre. Before going to the musical, I recalled the joy and entertainment I felt watching the movie version on television in the past. I started to hum the songs and sing “Tradition.”

I also thought about what is normally a tradition on Broadway, that is, presenting exciting, engaging musicals. Part of this task is done by casting actors that sing in a powerful and captivating way. When you go to a musical, you expect to go on an emotional ride and you are there to totally enjoy that ride, especially when it comes to a musical that so many of us know well. That did not happen for me at “Fiddler on the Roof.”

Key songs such as “Matchmaker, Matchmaker” were performed with just adequate vocals and emotions by Alexandra Silber, Samantha Massell and Melanie Moore as they portrayed Tzeitel, Hodel and Chava, lead character Tevye’s oldest daughters.

When Tzeitel and Motel, the tailor, get Tevye’s permission to marry, Motel performs “Miracle of Miracles.” The voice of Adam Kantor made me realize I was witnessing a miracle, which was him getting through the song given how many times his voice cracked. It is just not a Broadway caliber instrument. Though his acting is engaging, his poor singing had me shocked to see him on a Broadway stage in a musical.

Perchik, a student, falls in love with Hodel and they perform the song “Now I Have Everything.” What this song proclaimed to me is that Ben Rappaport, while a focused actor, was miscast as a singer. His voice reminded me of something you would hear in a high school production.

Danny Burstein plays the role of Tevye, and he gives a very funny performance. Jessica Hecht, as his wife, Golda, is also funny. They both have wonderful voices and bring their gifts to the songs they sing. Yente, the matchmaker, is played by Alix Korey, and she is quiet entertaining to watch.

Then, of course, the dancing in “Fiddler on the Roof” is first rate. The choreography, by Hofesh Shechter, is inspired by the work of Jerome Robbins. With this being said, I still found myself disappointed. Overall, the musical is lackluster. I just did not feel the high energy or the thrill that musicals normally give me at any moment.

For more information, visit fiddlermusical.com.