Supporting the Arts in Western Massachusetts and Beyond

November 18, 2014

Fiddler on the Roof

Broad Brook Opera House, Broad Brook, CT
through November 30, 2014
by Jennifer Curran

"Fiddler on the Roof," that classic and beloved musical, stands the test of time for a simple reason: it’s got a heart of gold. So, too, does Broad Brook with it current production. "Fiddler" is filled to the brim with sweetness and gentleness that has seep into the boards of the stage and reaches up to the open beamed ceiling.

Inside the playbook was a small note sharing that Director and Musical Director John DeNicola had been hospitalized and therefore others had stepped in to finish his work during those incredibly trying final weeks of rehearsal. And they did, with rousing success. 

Brad Shepard’s Tevya is a gentle giant with a humanity that stretches right out to the back row. Could this be his best performance thus far? Anna Giza, always a terrific performer, is a Golde worth sparring with and falling in love with. It could have been, and often is unfortunate, to play the conflict between these two characters. Shepard and Giza never let the audience forget that these two characters love each other. It’s more than a song; it's how they treat one another with playful jabs. Such nuances, which may be over-done in lesser productions, are underlined with true affection. The relationship between his man and woman is clear and important, raising the stakes for the audience and adding that extra dimension to a marriage whose lasting power exists for more than mere tradition.

Huge kudos go to the beautiful, rich voices of Kaytlyn Vandeloecht (Tzeitel), Stella Rivera (Hodel) and Madeline Lukomski (Chava). Also of note in this charming production is Gene Choquette as Lazar Wolf. Every scene that he is in has its own energy and lightness; Choquette brings out the best in his fellow actors. 

This is a "Fiddler" that is endearing and delightful. With a delicate ballet routine performed quite beautifully by Randy Davidson (Fyedka) and Madeline Lukomski (Chava), this production runs lovingly. If comedy is hard, ballet is certainly a way to raise that barre. Well done, Broad Brook and get well wishes to John DeNicola.