Your independent guide to the best shows in Boston
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Hammond Hall can do better than this. With the exception of the Seidel character, I could not hear the players well unless they were looking directly into the audience. The Yenta was especially hard to hear. The Mosul player lacked the energy required for some scenes and I couldn’t hear the opening dialog at all. Dancers performed well. Sets were sparse and relied upon the one house (tent) too much. It was great but not enough. The last scene was awkward. Finally, I’m a a huge advocate for 1A , however, I PAID TO BE ENTERTAINED. We wanted to enjoy the play. I did not pay for, expect or appreciate the political views of marginal performers. I’m sorry to see this.
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
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
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.
from Columbus, Ohio
This was ok. The actor who plays Tevye was clearly just repeating memorized lines with very little emotion. “If I were a rich man” was a huge let down, as well. He just really seemed so bored and sick of this. No feeling. Most of the actors gave off the same vibe…hurry up, we have to do this again, etc. It really took away from the show. Overall there was no feeling as the lines were being delivered. On a more pleasant note, The actors who played Perchik and Motel were excellent.
from Omaha, Nebraska
FIDDLER ON THE ROOF.
Not normally a critic, I felt last night’s performance, Thursday, 10 February, had one major flaw. My husband and I were sitting on the north side of the stage in row three and could not hear what the actors and actresses were saying or singing. Perhaps the sound system was not working well, but I’ve been to other shows (season ticket holders) and could see and hear that the actors and actresses were not projecting their voices very well. I thought maybe it was just me that felt this way, but I was talking to a volunteer during the break, and three people walked by and said are you talking about not being able to hear what’s going on, and I said yes. They agreed and said it was a disappointment. So I don’t know if the problem was in the whole
theater area or just down on the floor area. Try to imagine that you can’t hear the words. It ruined the whole play for the two of us, and we do not have hearing problems.
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