Lynn from Salt Lake City, Utah
PHONING IT IN
I've seen Fiddler on the Roof several times produced on various levels from high schools productions on up. This was my least favorite of them all. Maybe because I just expected something more. The dream scene was far too sterile and bland with singing that was too pretty. The voices in the various duets very rarely sounded like they fit together. Some of the male voices appeared to be outside of their range and low notes were barely audible. The blending of chorus voices was non existent with some singers staring notes before others, and others holding notes longer than others and everyone trying to out-sing each other. It really just seemed like they fine tuned everything before the tour started and haven't really worked on it again since. The orchestra and dancing were great!
Camilla from Lexington, Kentucky
I saw Fiddler on the Roof in Lexington 8 yrs ago with my daughter and LOVED IT! I was so excited about sharing this experience again with my husband last night and was sorely disappointed. The props were sparse and the acting was no better than a High School Drama production. The accents were OFF! I give 3 stars for this unprofessional production.
Dave The Curmudgeon Mausner from Chicago, Illinois
FIDDLER TAKES A HIKE
Note: I attended the 1964 first run in NYC. This is a comparative reflection. The cast of that run can be reviewed on Wikipedia. The production at Chicago's Cadillac Theater is technologically excellent. The costumes and set designs are simple, ingenious, and true to the original designer's intent: Anatevka was a bland and muddy outpost. The dance numbers are vigorous. The blocking, acting, and singing, while competent by modern standards, are restrained by an overall direction of sadness, isolation, and helplessness. The original played as a robust comedy, and one reason may be that the 1964 cast stars had actual Vaudeville experience. This production issues a disconcerting pessimism: lovers sing while standing at opposite sides of the stage like a 7-10 bowling split; Tevye and Golde's duet fails to read as a call and response; the Rabbi is played straight and not as an obvious comedy figure. Even the fiddler is missing his roof. You have no idea what you're missing.
Ann F. from Chicago, Illinois
The opening "Tradition" was very strong and I was so excited for an amazing show bc I love this play!! Only to be let down by weak singing by all the male leads. Maybe it was their sound system bc all were hard to hear and sounded strained. The women were strong and Sasha was great! Yente's timing was consistently off. I am not sure why it was necessary to cast 2 obvious omen as men in the chorus. You can definitely tell they are women and it's distracting. I hate to say this, but I have seen amateur community theater productions that were better. I bought 6 tickets as xmas gifts for my family... and I wish I would have chosen Avenue Q instead.
Julie W from Costa Mesa, California
BLAND AND UNDERWHELMING
I organized a group of friends and family to see this personal sentimental favorite. To those who have no comparisons to draw upon, I can understand their delight. My impressions, however, are sadly underwhelmed. Who even cast these performers? The texture, comedic timing, power, range and timbre of the vocals was chronically distracting. Yente practically read her lines. Tevye was too young for the role. Good marks for the staging and special effects and loved the bottle dance. I value this story as my grandparents were exiled from a village much like Anetevka, I can assure you that there was definitely room to portray the emotional impact of that eviction and violence much, much better. I am glad this story is still being told and now being introduced to a new audience, but the potency leaves much to be desired.
M. Weber from Costa Mesa, California
With a bang-up opening act, I expected much more from what turned out to be, dare I say, an insipid play. The orchestra played well, but the singing was not the best, especially the middle daughter. I enjoyed Teyve's character, but I had to guess at some of his lines, his vocal projection was not there. Yenta was so disappointing! Sounded like she was reading her lines and couldn't decide on which accent to use. Her timing was nonexistent. I found the lighting very muddy, the humor missing or muted, and the singing so-so. Just seemed like lots of missed opportunities to put on a good show.
Mary DiCola from Chicago, Illinois
AVERAGE HIGH SCHOOL PERFORMANCE
I've never been disappointed previously at a Chicago theater performance. However, Fiddler on the Roof changed a run of excellent theater experiences last night! I was expecting someone to come out of the curtains at the end and announce that we had been duped! Rather than professional actors, we were actually subjected to a High School performance, and the theater would be refunding our ticket money! Every time Golde and Yente performed, I winced in embarrassment! The play was ridden with over-acting, simply, bad acting, and horrible accents, (Was this a bad imitation of an East Coast, diner waitress?) Most of the characters sounded as if they were reading directly from...no "Yelling" the script! Save your money! Go see a good High School performance!
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