Review: Fiddler on the Roof (Encore Entertainment)

The timeless musical theatre classic Fiddler on the Roof is brought back to life at the Toronto Center for the Arts

Encore’s recent production of Fiddler on the Roof at the Toronto Center For the Arts brings community theatre to a whole new level! High calibre performances coupled with dynamic choreography and direction, this timeless piece once again leaves the audience wanting more.

Although barely staged with props and set, the superb acting, singing and movement sustained itself. Musical numbers like “Tradition”, “If I were a rich man”, and “To Life”, keep you humming far beyond the theatre.

The opening number with Tevye and the ensemble set the stage for an evening of captivating performances. Tevye, played by Derrick Evans was simply phenomenal in this lead role. Although everyone gave outstanding performances, Evans tirelessly and charmingly carried the show from start to finish.

Following Tevye’s acting chops was his stern yet loving wife Golde, played by Sarah Haley Matte. They play off one another quite humorously and their Dream sequence was outrageously funny. The incarnation of Lazar Wolf’s late wife had a rather dramatic and effective entrance making this scene one of the most memorable.

From balancing bottles on their head to traditional folk dancing, the Wedding number also left the audience in an uproar.

Tevye’s daughters each held their own as dancers and singers. Numbers like “Matchmaker” proved this.

“The Rumor” also featured various engaging roles like Yente, played by Michelle Cote. The whole gossip ensemble was well delivered.

Costume designers Alex and Carmen Amini captured the time and place perfectly from head to toe.

A 12-piece live orchestra directed by Ellen Kestenberg added to the production value.

Based on the short story by Sholem Aleichem “Tevye and His Daughters”, Fiddler on the Roof, although a commonly produced Broadway hit, still seems to span generations and cultures. From themes like tradition, parental approval, true love, and political and religious strife, this play still pulls at our heartstrings.

Direction by Mario D’Alimonte and choreography by Colette Carr was seamless. Encore Entertainment, and its perfectly chosen cast beautifully brings to life this energetic and heartfelt production. I know I wasn’t the only one who shed a tear or two.

Details

Encore Entertainment’s production of Fiddler on the Roof is playing at the Toronto Centre For the Arts at the Studio Theatre  from October 25th until November 4th, 2012 at 8pm from Tuesday through Thursday and Sunday matinees at 2pm.

-Tickets range from $34 to $36 and can be purchased at http://www.tocentre.com. For more ticket and information please visit www.encoreshows.com.

Photograph of Derrick Evans as Tevye and Peter Pequegnat as Lazar Wolf provided by Merle Garbe

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