Anthony Reyes’ performance
brings the show together
Fiddler on the Roof is an old reliable of the musical theater world — since its first run in 1964, it seems everyone’s seen it at least once, or watched the movie, or can recognize some of its extremely catchy numbers. But seeing it performed today brought unexpected nuance to the familiar story, in light of the recent economic turmoil this country has been facing.
The Theatre Guild and Southeast Civic Light Opera are performing Fiddler at the Liberty Theater on the Joint Forces Training Base. Despite a lack of elaborate sets or expensive costumes, they actors lend the stage an energy and vitality that is nonetheless impressive. While their interpretation of the characters isn’t revolutionary, the actors avoid the trap of devolving into parody, a very real danger when dealing with such a well-known story and group of characters.
Indeed, Anthony Reyes brings whimsy to the character of Tevye, the poor Jewish milkman in Tsarist Russia, throwing a little sparkle to the audience even when he’s not the focus of the scene. And even without dialogue, he emotes in such a way that Tevye’s feelings — from jubilation to despair to rage — come through clearly. It is his impressive performance in the leading role that brings the show together. And Ani Marderosian steals almost every scene she’s in as Tevye’s eldest daughter Tzeitel, who wants nothing more than to (gasp!) marry the man she loves, the penniless tailor Motel Kamzoil, played to stammering perfection by Charlie Myers.
My one complaint is not about the microphones cutting out every so often or the obviously fake facial hair on some of the actors. Those are entirely forgivable faults, and pale next to the fabulous performances of most of the cast. My complaint is against the decision to have some of the actors affect Russian accents, but some not. It is a bit jarring to have two characters, ostensibly from the same tiny village in rural Russia, speaking with totally different accents. I appreciate the difficulty in imitating certain accents; however, perhaps it would have been better to go all the way or not at all.
That being said, I highly recommend this production of Fiddler on the Roof, and I offer my warmest congratulations for a job well done.
The Theatre Guild and Southeast Civic Light Opera, together with the Orange County Symphony, present Fiddler on the Roof, April 12 through April 29 at the Liberty Theater at the Los Alamitos Joint Forces Training Base.
Thursday through Saturday, shows at 7:30 p.m. Sunday matinees at 2 p.m.
Tickets are $20 per person for adults, $15 per person for seniors and children.
For more information or to buy tickets, visit www.seclo.org or call 714-827-9141.
- Liberty Theater celebrates 70 years with Fiddler on the Roof (oc-breeze.com)
- SECLO presents Fiddler on the Roof in April (oc-breeze.com)
- Last-chance auditions for Fiddler on the Roof at the Liberty Theatre (oc-breeze.com)