Tag Archives: Broadway News

Theater Review: Fiddler On The Roof

 

A reimagined, earthy production, combined with the traditions of exciting and goose bump-inducing dancing, created a nostalgic night of theatre at Bartlett Sher’s production of “Fiddler on the Roof.” This breathtaking production began previews on Nov. 20 at the Broadway Theatre.

“Fiddler on the Roof,” with music by Jerry Block, lyrics by Sheldon Harnick and book by Joseph Stein, is based on Sholem Aleichem’s short stories of Tevye, a dairyman living in a small Jewish village in 1900s Russia. He struggles to support his wife and daughters during a time of prejudice and poverty.

Sher’s recent productions including “South Pacific” and “The King and I,” all share a commonality with “Fiddler on the Roof.” Each production is beautifully simplistic, allowing for ones imagination to go wild.

Danny Burstein, who plays the role of Tevye, delivered a passionate performance. His portrayal of a progressive father who wants the best for his children was natural and heart-felt. Burstein’s rendition of ‘If I Were A Rich Man,’ a highlight of the night, showed off his vocal chops and comedic timing.

Samantha Massell and Adam Kantor gave star-quality performances as Hodel and Motel, respectively. Massell, the vocally strongest of Teyve’s daughters, sang a heart-rending rendition of ‘Far From The Home I Love.’ Her performance resulted in sniffles throughout the house of over 1,500 patrons.  Kantor brought charisma and animation to his role making the loyal tailor loveable to all.

The artistic and energetic characteristics of this production were thanks to Israeli-born, United Kingdom-based choreographer, Hofesh Shechter.  Shechter’s “refreshed” choreography married a new movement language with Jerome Robbins’ iconic dances. ‘The Bottle Dance,’ in particular, drew gasps from the audience. This culturally realistic choreography made the audience feel like they were transported to Anatevka.

This production is sure to make a rich man out of Burstein and Shechter during Tony Award® season. The original production in 1964 won nine Tony Awards®.  These awards included Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical, Best Performance by a Leading Actor, Best Performance by a Featured Actress, Best Producer, Best Director, Best Composer and Lyricist and Best Choreography.

With a current running time of two hours and 45 minutes, the show has some pacing issues to work out. In addition, there were apparent blending problems that can hopefully resolve over time.

“Fiddler On The Roof” opens on Broadway Dec. 20th.

The Top Ten: Wicked’s Defying Gravity

Happy Wicked Day! In honor of 12 swankified years, I’ve compiled a list of the top ten “Defying Gravity” renditions:

10. Caroline Bowman

9. Donna Vivino

8. Jackie Burns

7. Kerry Ellis

6. Shoshana Bean

5. Lindsay Mendez

4. Willemijn Verkaik

3. Eden Espinosa

2. Idina Menzel

1. Stephanie J. Block

Here’s to 12 more years of teaching audiences around the world how to fly!

ICYMI: This Week’s Broadway Buzz

Get Connected With Bway Zone

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A new, interactive website for the Broadway babies launched this week. Bway Zone allows the littles to be a part of the Broadway family by connecting with Broadway stars and sharing pictures and stories of their own.

Happy Anniversary, Wicked

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Wicked celebrates its 12th year on Broadway TODAY! This show has played over 5,000 performances and is number 11 on the list of Broadway’s long-running productions.

Anything You Can Do Megan Can Do Better

New York City Center presented Annie Get Your Gun: In Concert for two night only starring Megan Hilty (Gentlemen Prefer Blondes), Andy Karl (Rocky), Chuck Cooper (Amazing Grace), Judy Kaye (Nice Work If You Can Get It), Brad Oscar (Something Rotten!) and Ron Rains (Follies). If you missed out, watch the clip above to see this Tony-honored cast.

ICYMI: This Week’s Broadway Buzz

Snapchat Broadcasts Broadway
IMG_6667On Wednesday, Broadway fans and performers gave Snapchat a little razzle dazzle! Snapchat featured an “On Broadway” live story which showcased shows including Hamilton, The Phantom of The Opera, The Lion King, Aladdin, An American in Paris, Jersey Boys and Wicked. Check out some of the great Snapchats from the night.  IMG_6658 IMG_6660 IMG_6659

Two Award Winning Hollywood Actors Star On The Great White Way

Actors AL PACINO (right) & BRUCE WILLIS at the 20th Annual American Cinematheque Award Gala where Pacino was honored. October 21, 2005 Beverly Hills, CA. © 2005 Paul Smith / Featureflash*** USA ONLY ***

This week marked the beginning of previews for Misery starring Bruce Willis and China Doll starring Al Pacino. Both productions are scheduled as limited engagements. Misery is set to close on Feb. 14, 2016, and China Doll on Jan. 21, 2016. You will not want to miss these performances.

Real Housewives Star Heads Back To Broadway
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NeNe Leakes is joining the cast of the hit musical Chicago for 4 weeks only! She will be stepping in as Matron “Mama” Morton from Nov. 23-Dec. 20, 2015.

Dames at Sea Opens on Broadway

The production docked at the Helen Hayes Theatre last night to mixed reviews. David Rooney of The Hollywood Reporter said, “…with an appealing cast of six that makes its featherweight pleasures infectious.” Read all of the reviews here.

The Broadway League Announces Kids’ Night On Broadway Ambassadors
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The League names Tony Award winner Kelli O’Hara (The King and I) and Academy and Golden Globe winner Marlee Matlin (Spring Awakening) as the 2016 Kids’ Night On Broadway National Ambassadors. Kids’ Night On Broadway allows for kids ages 18 years or younger to see a show for free with the purchase of a full-priced ticket. This event takes place in many cities across the country and throughout the year. Check kidsnightonbroadway.com for dates and locations.

Andrew Lloyd Webber “Rocks The Schools”
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And the music kept rolling out in all of New York City. The award-winning musical theatre writer donated $150,000 towards new musical instruments to the City Of New York’s Fund for Public Schools. This is a part of a new initiative called “Rock the Schools”. Webber’s donation will help twenty public middle schools across the city.