“Fiddler on the Roof”

Crucible Theatre, Sheffield (UK) • 6 January 2007 • 7:30pm
Book by Joseph Stein, based on the Sholem Aleichem stories. Music by Jerry Bock. Lyrics by Sheldon Harnick.

Director: Lindsay Posner. Music Director: Dane Preece. With Henry Goodman (Tevye), Beverley Klein (Golde)…

When I heard that Henry Goodman was to play Tevye in this production, I became curious. He drew considerable attention to himself when he got fired from the Broadway production of The Producers after much hype about his replacing Nathan Lane. I remember his giving a fine performance as Nathan Detroit in the beautiful production of Guys & Dolls at the National Theatre… and also playing a somewhat frantic Buddy in the Royal Festival Hall production of Follies. Well… his Tevye is also a bit on the nervous side, but overall I found his performance to be a success.

The Crucible Theatre’s production is slick and winsome. Its great cast does justice to Bock and Harnick’s masterpiece. I was particularly happy to see that Beverley Klein had been cast as Golde: her Old Lady in the National Theatre’s production of Candide remains as one of my best theatrical memories ever. She is a fine Golde… and really managed to bring out the emotion in “Do You Love Me.”

Too bad the production could only afford an eight-piece orchestra: the glory of Bock’s score was lost in places. Also, for the first time in a very long time in the UK, I thought that the sound design was not completely satisfactory.

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