Just came in from seeing Donna Feore’s earthy, elegant and deeply felt production of FIddler at the Stratford Festival in Canada. This show’s power really doesn’t diminish over the years; nor does my amazement at that fact.
Alongside a generally strong company that creates a genuine sense of community, Scott Wentworth plays a tender Tevye. No bluster, hollering or shtick in his portrayal, but a wry self-consciousness — very Sholem-Aleichem-like. His rejection of Chava tore me up because he tamped his emotion down and, in keeping with Tevye’s dialectical on-the-one-hand, on-the-other-hand tendencies, hugged her even as he cast her out.
What I loved especially was how well-acted the songs were: Tevye and Golde really wondering and then taking in the answer in “Do You Love Me?”; Perchik (the understudy, no less, one Gabriel Antonacci, maybe going on for the first time) tracing a full dramatic arc in the space of “Wonder of Wonders,” as the character’s emotion bursts through his super-rational veneer.
And, of course, there’s the unfading genius of Jerry Robbins’s Bottle Dance: