HARVEY FIERSTEIN – Is “Tevye” in Fiddler On The Roof

At the Golden Gate Theatre, January 27th – February 21st

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By Seán Martinfield
Sentinel Editor and Publisher
Photo by Lynn Imanaka

FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, the perennial and poignant musical about the enduring bonds of the family, will play the Golden Gate Theatre beginning January 27th through February 21st. Fiddler On The Roof is presented as a part of the Best of Broadway series under the direction of Carole Shorenstein Hays. Mr. Fierstein recently starred as the iconic milkman, “Tevye” in the critically acclaimed Broadway production.  Audiences now have the rare opportunity to see this Tony Award-winning actor embrace one of his favorite roles in this Jerome Robbins inspired production.  Mr. Fierstein has won four Tony awards including two for Torch Song Trilogy as both writer (Best Book of a Play) and actor (Best Actor in a Play).  His most recent win was the 2003 Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical for the Broadway production of Hairspray.  In addition to his Tony Award-winning role in the Torch Song Trilogy, Mr. Fierstein recreated the role in the film adaptation.  Other film work includes, Mrs. Doubtfire, Woody Allen’s Bullets Over Broadway and Independence Day

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HARVEY FIERSTEIN. Photo, Joan Marcus

TEVYE: I’d fill my yard with chicks and turkeys and geese and ducks
For the town to see and hear.
Squawking just as noisily as they can.
With each loud “cheep” “swaqwk” “honk” “quack”
Would land like a trumpet on the ear,
As if to say – “Here lives a wealthy man!”

A perennial hit since it first opened in 1964, Fiddler On The Roof has enjoyed critical acclaim for bringing to the stage a passionate story about the ups and downs of family life. Now, the national touring production of this timeless musical brings the wit and wisdom of Tevye and his family to audiences throughout the United States with the reproduction of Jerome Robbins’ famous masterpiece. In 1965 Jerome Robbins won matching Tony Awards for his direction and choreography of Fiddler On The Roof. In this National Tour, both are recreated by Director Sammy Dallas Bayes, choreographer of the Broadway Revival.

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FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, The National Tour
Photo, Joan Marcus

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Eric Van Tielen and Alison Waller
Photo, Joan Marcus

Tevye’s wrestling with the new customs of a younger generation is punctuated by an unforgettable score that weaves the haunting strains of “Sunrise, Sunset” and the rousing “If I Were A Rich Man” with the exuberant “Matchmaker, Matchmaker” and triumphant “Tradition.” When his daughters choose suitors who defy his idea of a proper match, Tevye comes to realize, through a series of incidents that are at once comic and bittersweet, that his children will begin traditions of their own. At the story’s close, the villagers of Anatevka are forced to leave their homes and even the sturdy mores that have guided everyday life begin to crumble. Paradoxically, it is the enforced loss of the rigid traditions and home life that Tevye has tried so tenaciously to preserve that leads the family to reconcile and draw closer still.

To experience what goes on backstage at SHN shows, go to: shnsf.com/podcast Listen to Backstage, the SHN podcast series, to hear interviews with members of the creative teams or actors for all SHN productions.

Watch Harvey Fierstein 1983: On Torch Song, Letterman & La Cage:

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Seán Martinfield
Sentinel Editor and Publisher
Seán Martinfield, who also serves as Fine Arts Critic, is a native San Franciscan. He is a Theatre Arts Graduate from San Francisco State University, a professional singer, and well-known private vocal coach to Bay Area actors and singers of all ages and persuasions. His clients have appeared in Broadway National Tours including Wicked, Aïda, Miss Saigon, Rent, Bye Bye Birdie, in theatres and cabarets throughout the Bay Area, and are regularly featured in major City events including Diva Fest, Gay Pride, and Halloween In The Castro. As an Internet consultant in vocal development and audition preparation he has published thousands of responses to those seeking his advice concerning singing techniques, professional and academic auditions, and careers in the Performing Arts. Mr. Martinfield’s Broadway clients have all profited from his vocal methodology, “The Belter’s Method”, which is being prepared for publication. If you want answers about your vocal technique, post him a question on AllExperts.com. If you would like to build up your vocal performance chops and participate in the Bay Area’s rich theatrical scene, e-mail him at: sean.martinfield@comcast.net.

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