ON AND OFF BROADWAY
Fortuitously, I looked in again at the Minskoff’s “Fiddler on the Roof” and spent the most rewarding evening of recent musical revivals. The huge theatre was nearly packed all seemingly thrilled to their responsive core. Alfred Molina as Tevye the milkman living on a shtetl mid family has blossomed into a distinctive, sympathetic, amusing old fashion father of three eligible daughters with no dowry.
He must adjust backed by an empathetic score to the new fangled notion of marrying for love. His dominating but kind heart overcomes the tradition of “the papa” making matrimonial decisions with the help of the matchmaker, still impishly played by Nancy Opel, a confidant of Tevye’s wife Golde played by Randy Graff spewing fond strictness through her bell-toned voice. Their three daughters, each in a forbidden “unheard of” romance sings clear as a bell in solo and ensemble bringing on an intended. It was reassuring to enjoy one more time the quirky, comic expertise of OCC award winner Motel (John Cariani) singing “Miracle of Miracles,” newly engaged to his Tzeitel cavorting upstage in silhouette with his fiancé like a Disney cartoon . . .”They’re so happy, they don’t know how miserable they are,” says the new father-in-law commiserating over his daughters’ poverty. Each has ecstatically picked a loser.
The greatest adjustment still awaits the townspeople evicted from their beloved Anatevka their shtetle Russian village. Those who traveled to New York where the luckiest thought a few generations to move “uptown” from the lower east side life of pushcarts and cramped quarters. As another risky son-in-law, in the role of Fydeka, understudy Stephen Ward Billeisen made a forceful earth shaker. Bravo all hands!