But I am a biased observer so I won't talk about the quality of the direction here. I won't mention the outstanding casting, selection of musical and vocal directors, choreographer, technical director and costumers. You see, my son the Director gives them all the credit, ignoring the fact that he selected the production team and cast. But I know better, even if I am a proud father who is just a little bit biased.
Instead, I will talk about the quality of the performances I witnessed although I am not sure where to begin. I guess, when you are talking about Fiddler you have to begin with Tevye. I have seen Jake Tieman perform before and I was a fan of his before this production. But I was still totally excited watching him perform. He was Tevye! He became the character and took charge of the stage. He is both an outstanding singer and actor and showed us both his skills and Tevye's soul. I particularly liked the twinkle is his eye when he had his conversations with God.
The rest of the cast was also outstanding. Golde (Kate Graham) looked like Tevye's wife and her singing voice complemented his very well. The singing and characterizations presented by the 3 older daughters Tzeitel (Mackenzie Gomez), Hodel (Samantha Hill) and Chava (Katie Segal) were outstanding and you just knew that they were sisters. Zach Barryte (Motel the Tailor) is a wonderful comic actor and provided a delightfully nuanced characterization of the bumbling young tailor. (I talked about Zach's comedy last December in my post on The Face on the Barroom Floor.) And then there was Koray Tarhan (Fyedka), the young Russian displaying both wonderful singing and dancing in the tavern. Finally, the choreography inThe Dream was brilliant, the best I have seen in any production of Fiddler, and the entire scene was made even better by Grandma Tzeitel (Dorothy Hayden) and Fruma Sarah (Christina Leslie).
I don't think I have ever singled out for plaudits so many actors in a single production. And then The Ancient One reminds himself that this was a cast of high school students. And while I have mentioned 8 performers by name, I personally want to congratulate the entire cast/ensemble for providing us with a wonderful performance. (If you click on the list below, you will get a more readable view.)
This production of Fiddler has 4 more performances, Thursday, March 19 through Sunday, March 22. There may be a few tickets left. If you are in the area, check at www.penhighdrama.com to select seats and buy tickets.
L'Chaim!!!!! And, again, CONGRATULATIONS to the cast, crew, director and entire production team!!!