FIDDLER ON THE ROOF – Some Fancy Fiddling By Harvey Fierstein

Now at the Golden Gate Theatre through February 21st
It’s all about Tradition

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By Seán Martinfield
Sentinel Editor and Publisher
Photo by Lynn Imanaka

FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, now at the Golden Gate Theatre through Sunday, February 21st, is a heart-warming delight – with a few palpitations here and there. The production is sharply directed and choreographed by Sammy Dallas Bayes whose previous work in 1991with Chaim Topol (originally scheduled for this tour) garnered the actor a Tony nomination. The show features Harvey Fierstein as “Tevye” – the dairyman, the Papa – our guide to the established Traditions of home and religion in the fictional town of Anatevka, a “shtetl”, in what was once European Russia.

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HARVEY FIERSTEIN

The musical opened in September 1964 and has maintained an enduring presence in every community ever since. This production offers enough charm and style to persuade even the weariest of Fiddler veterans toward another look. The music by Jerry Bock remains evergreen and its timeless tales of love and prejudice against the backdrop of an approaching revolution are fresh and vital once again. The musical’s strongest tradition is that it demands a dynamic Leading Man with extraordinary theatrical powers. Harvey Fierstein is that performer. He is filled with love. He is a major gift to the Theatre. Harvey Fierstein and Fiddler On The Roof proved to be a perfect match. And, yes, we learned to love him more as the evening went on.

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Susan Cella (Golde) and Harvey Fierstein (Tevye). Photo, Carol Rosegg

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Harvey Fierstein and the Company. Photo, Carol Rosegg

What Mr. Fierstein lacks in the vocal department – and allowing even for original keys lowered by as much as a major 5th to accommodate his range – he makes up for in soul and a commanding presence. The hummers out in the audience know the score is catchy and not that difficult to sing. Fiddler On The Roof is this year’s Spring Musical in high schools everywhere around the globe. Harvey Fierstein is a smart guy. With Tony Awards on the mantle – one of them for Best Actor In A Musical playing “Edna Turnblad” in Hairspray – Harvey Fierstein knows how to tackle a Broadway Classic and make it his own. The rest is about the focused energy of a fine ensemble and the glamor of the production’s set designs by Steve Gilliam, costumes by Tony Ray Hicks, and lighting by Ken Billington and Jason Kantrowitz.

Click here to order tickets on-line: FIDDLER ON THE ROOF

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FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, The National Tour

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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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