FIDDLER returns in ’15

The words to note in yesterday’s announcement that Fiddler will be returning to Broadway in its fifth revival in the Fall of 2015 are these: The production, to be directed by Bartlet Sher, based on original conceptions and choreography by Robbins, will feature choreography by Hofesh Shechter. That means some loosening of restrictions on previous productions that have required fealty to the Robbins staging and dances (and really, how could any improve on the Bottle Dance?) Fiddler‘s authors were first ready for what they called a “fresh approach” more than a decade ago, when David Leveaux was hired to stage the 2004 revival. Though it garnered mixed reviews, it ran longer than any Broadway revival before it, starring Alfred Molina, later replaced by the warm and winning Harvey Fierstein (pictured here). Sher had been named as director of a promised new production of Funny Girl, apparently now indefinitely postponed, and as revivals go (leaving aside his many productions of operas and new plays), there’s his lush, irony-free  South Pacific of 2008 — nostalgic for the old Golden Age of musicals. As for Hofesh, the Guardian has called the style of the Israeli-born, London-based superstar  “earthy and blunt, powered by action and raw energy.” Meanwhile, the unconfirmed choice for Tevye – the producers have been “in discussion” with him — is Danny Burstein, a versatile theater man, commanding in dramas and musicals alike; he was a singeing Buddy Plummer in Follies in 2011. Will it all add up to a fresh Fiddler that sustains the show’s spirit? May it be deserving of praise.