Theater Info for the Washington DC region

Robinson Secondary School Fiddler on the Roof

By • May 3rd, 2009 • Category: Cappies

Close your eyes. Imagine you are looking down on the little village of Anatevka. There is singing, dancing, matchmaking, and toasting L’chaim! But this is not something one has to dream up. All of this came to life on the stage at Robinson Secondary School, with a charming performance of Fiddler on the Roof.

Fiddler on the Roof is based on the tale Tevye and His Daughters, by Sholom Aleichem. The musical version started on Broadway in 1964, where it was controversial but very successful. The show won nine Tony awards and was seen in the last four decades in the form of several Broadway revivals.

One of the grounding features of this production was the energy constantly coming from the Ensemble. All of the actors moved fluently together, with facial expressions and emotional reactions perfectly attuned to the action of the play. They drew the audience right into the action on stage.

In Anatevka, a poor farmer named Tevye lives with his wife and five children. But when his three eldest daughters wish to marry men other than the ones that the matchmaker and Tevye have approved for them, traditions are broken — or maybe just changed with the times.

Eric Fischer gave an exceptional performance as Tevye. He sang and acted with skill, but also with a deeper understanding and appreciation for the lives of the Jewish people in 1905. Madison Auch, Micah Chelen and Erika Heer complemented each other nicely on stage, serenading the audience during “Matchmaker.”

Sarah Russell left a memorable impression as Yente and provided comic relief throughout the show. Joshua Berrent as Lazar Wolf also gave a strong performance with his contagious enthusiasm during “To Life” and his cold disappointment in the wedding scene.

Technical aspects greatly enhanced the production with a remarkably realistic set, time-period appropriate costumes, and a fast and efficient stage crew. The well-tuned orchestra was a bit loud at times, but this did not detract from the actors performances and all of the music was upbeat and in-tune. Aside from a few abrupt lighting changes the effects were skillfully done.

Robinson Secondary’s Fiddler on the Roof went above and beyond expectations, with live chickens, improvisational fiddling from Jose Justiniano and utilization of the entire auditorium space. The success of this show is best summarized by the audience members themselves. They gave it a standing ovation when the final curtain was drawn.

Fiddler on the Roof will also be performed this weekend, May 8th and 9th at 7:30PM. Don’t miss it.

by Leah Samuelson of Annandale High School

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