Posts Categorized: Fiddler on the Roof

Sunrise Sunset from Fiddler on the Roof – Broadway Songs About the Sun

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If you have ever watched the nanny, if you were raised Jewish or if you love classic showtunes, chances are you’ve heard at least a few songs from Fiddler on the Roof and more than likely one of them was Sunrise Sunset. Just like many of the other songs this week, the songwriter for this show uses the sun rising and setting as a metaphor for days going by and the same thing happening over and over. It could be seen a million ways.

Day in and day out, things never change and things never get easier. You could look at it as Tevye’s kids keep disobeying him, getting married and times are changing for everyone, except him and his wife. You could look at it as how the Russians are invading Anitevka and each sunrise and sunset means they are getting closer to kicking the Jews out, killing them and taking over. There are a million metaphors in the song sunrise sunset from Fiddler on the Roof.

When I was younger we would sing this song but I never knew how sad it was. I always thought it was a fun one and we would swing around singing it with Match Maker and If I Were a Rich Man. We never realized how sad the show actually was and I don’t think we really could have understood. We were born in America as a second generation or third generation and never knew what it had been like to live in Europe or in Russia. We did however have Russian immigrants that lived by my Aunt and the one cleaned her house and would come to holiday meals with us. I did eventually grow up and meet her son a bit and he turned out to be bi I think and we ended up meeting at a couple of other places. I never really understood why they were so grateful to be in the US until recently when I saw a documentary about Jews being kidnapped and executed on film in Russia. The thing that shocked me most is that the documentary is very recent and this is a regular occurrence. Instead of the sun being a positive thing in this song like it was in the other broadway songs about the sun, the sun rising and the sun setting is a scary thing about the Nazis and Russians coming to take over, murder them and kick them out of their homes. After seeing a production of Fiddler on the Roof, I don’t think I could sing that song in a happy way again.

Fiddler On The Roof – Tradition – The Tony Awards

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When I saw the touring cast of Fiddler on the Roof with Harvey Fierstein I didn’t really like it that much, but I also forgot about how the choreography during the song Tradition from Fiddler on the Roof was actually really good. When I was at showtunes night the other night, they played the broadway casts’ performance from the Tony awards of Tradition from Fiddler on the Roof and it was actually almost exactly like the touring casts except I really enjoyed it a lot more. I think the biggest difference between seeing the broadway cast perform vs. the touring cast wasn’t the singing, talent or dancing, it was where we were sitting.

The touring cast was full of broadway veterans and they were amazing. I saw them at a cabaret show after where they performed a ton of songs like Casting Call for a New Best Friend and also played instruments and sang a ton of great off beat and off broadway showtunes. We were sitting in the orchestra by the stage so we got to see the dancing up close and they were good, but it didn’t seem impressive. The video of Tradition from the Tony Awards is shot from a ton of different angles.

They have a camera above the audience like you are in the balcony, on stage and one that is directly in line with the performers. Actually getting to see them dance from these angles makes the performance look amazing instead of just like an ok routine. I usually try to sit in the first balcony in the front on the side when I go to a show because you get an awesome view of all of the effects and can also see the actual performances if it is a show that has really good choreography. The routine from the Tony awards was just like the routine from the touring cast of Fiddler on the Roof, but seeing it from the balcony or a better seat that wasn’t as close to the stage makes it look completely different and would have changed my opinion of the show. It’s funny how sitting in the balcony vs. the front of the orchestra changes your opinion of the show and the choreography and can turn a bad review into a good one.

Matchmaker Matchmaker from Fiddler on the Roof

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Today is a cleaning day for me which sucks since I hate cleaning and it made me think of the song Matchmaker Matchmaker from Fiddler on the Roof. In the musical version the three girls are dancing and sweeping with brooms and in the movie version of Fiddler on the Roof they are doing laundry and cleaning up. It’s sort of funny how you clean so that when you have guests or want to impress someone you are sort of hoping they don’t look down on you and you can be ready for a date or if you want to bring someone home.

In the musical version they are hoping that they can fall in love which helps distract them from having to clean and be bored. That’s sort of how I feel about cleaning. I hate it but since I have a date later I need everything to be spotless so I can pretend like my apartment normally looks clean.

The song Matchmaker Matchmaker from Fiddler on the Roof is actually a fun one to have on your soundtrack while you clean or even for a road trip because it is easy and fun to sing a long to, it can blend in with the background and everyone knows at least the chorus to the showtune. Because it is easy and fun to listen to, it also makes it fun to clean to as well. It helps to make it go faster so you can have everything ready and not have to think about everything else you need to do to make your apartment or house clean for your guests. It’s also sort of a fun song to dance around your house to because it follows a slow pace and you can easily sweep, dust or vacuum to it and actually have fun while doing it. Matchmaker Matchmaker from Fiddler on the Rood is one of my favorite classic showtunes and one that is on my iPhone for cleaning days and I think it was on my soundtrack for driving and traveling last year as well. Anyways, time to get back to cleaning.

Welcome to Avenue Jew – Happy Hanukah

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I don’t think there are any words to describe how excited I am to get to share one of my favorite spoofs with you.  Not only did I have to wait until Hanukah, the high holidays are a little inappropriate, to share this video, but I actually stopped myself from watching it until tonight.   Not only is it the perfect song to celebrate Hanukah on Broadway with but it is absolutely amazingly done as well.   It is Avenue Jew.

Have you ever wondered what you would get if two broadway shows had a baby.  Sure we know Stephen Sondheim spawned Sondheim on Sondheim but what about two completely unrelated shows like one about oppression and bigotry with one about porn and swearing puppets who have sex and promote porn.  It doesn’t sound like they would ever be able to match but with the power of Broadway the two had a baby and what you get is a show called Avenue Jew.

Avenue Jew is the cross of the casts of Avenue Q with characters and parts of the cast of Fiddler On the Roof.  Not only do you get to watch Trekkie Monster play a fiddle instead of a keyboard with porn, but you get to watch your other favorite characters portay different Fiddler stars.  If only Kate Monster had a Matchmaker to find her a boyfriend, ohh wait she does.  Avenue Jew is not only amazingly well done, but the characters and casts and song mashups are absolutely incredible.  I don’t think you can really describe it well enough without watching it so as we celebrate the second night of Hanukah I’d like to share one of my very favorite hanukah broadway showtunes, Avenue Jew.  Feel free to share it with your friends on Twitter by clicking on the green tweet or retweet button at the top of the post and also feel free to leave a comment below.   Here is one of my favorite broadway hanukah showtunes, Avenue Jew.  Happy Hanukah everyone!  My Mom is probably saying Oy Vey right now as I am watching the Avenue Jew video and laughing lol.  Happy Hanukah everyone!

Harvey Fierstein Fiddler on the Roof

Fiddler on the Roof – Harvey Fierstein Reviewed

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Harvey Fierstein Fiddler on the Roof

Harvey Fierstein Fiddler on the Roof

This weekend I got to take my mom to not only see a classic show Fiddler on the Roof, but I also got to go with her when one of Broadway’s most beloved Actors, Harvey Fierstein.

Not only are we both huge Harvey Fierstein fans, but getting to see him with my Mom and in a role that almost seems like it was designed for him, Tevye, just like when he played Edna Turnblad in Broadway’s Hairspray, the performance has to be amazing.   In this review I want to go over what makes an Actor like Harvey Fierstein so amazing and then review the show.

Harvey Fierstein is one of the most influential people in Broadway.  Not only has he created a career for himself and turned his extremely unique voice into one of his most sought after traits, but he brought gay people into the main stream on Broadway, besides in Cabaret when the guys admits he is bi or in Victor Victoria where they clearly love and accept gay people in France, with his shows like La Cage Au Follies or Torch Song Trilogy.  He pushes boundaries and fights for his beliefs, but he also does it in a way that is classy, comical and a way that attracts huge audiences.  Not only is he able to create a venue that gets a message across, but he does it in a way that is extremely thought provoking and not as in your face.  With that said, how does this relate to his career?

Harvey Fierstein is able to not only write in a way that main stream audiences will fall in love with it and he can get away with creating shows that are not normal or sometimes controversial, but he can also tie that into his body language, facial expressions and character development.  Not only can you see his eyes from everywhere in the theatre (or at least visualize them) but he is somehow able not only break character to give a shimmy or just before a well known song step out of the cast and point his finger to let the crowd know it is about to start and then come back into place seamlessly, but he can also carry the entire cast if he needs to.

People like Harvey Fierstein, Carol Channing, Barbara Streisand and others that have unique voices find ways to make their emotions speak and hit everyone in a crowd.  It is almost like you are watching their characters in their stories as if you were really there and somehow their presence is large enough that you almost feel what their character would be feeling.  If an Actor can do that and in real life, jump out of their character in a second and then all of the sudden be right back in line and get your emotions going crazy again, that is what makes them a star and what separates Broadway stars from Movie and TV Stars.  They have to be able to act, sing, dance and be able to improvise and remember hours of lines and be able to act along side different people every night and at the blink of an eye.  This is what makes theatre unique and people like Harvey Fierstein household names that everyone can fall in love with.

Fiddler on the Roof Washington DC National Theatre

Fiddler on the Roof Washington DC National Theatre

Fiddler on the Roof reviewed.

So anyways, the purpose of this post was to talk about Fiddler on the Roof.

Fiddler on the Roof is the story of a small and poor Jewish Village in Anatevka Russia.  It is the story of a Milkman names Tevye, his wife Goldie, his 5 daughters and how even though they are poor they can still be rich with love. Love is a reoccurring theme in the show.

Tevye is in love with God and his Traditions, not to mention his wife who has never said she loved him in the 25 years they were married or with Yenta who is the town Match Maker that chooses love for everyone else, even if they aren’t in love or don’t want love.  Tevye’s daughters who discover love and even though it is against tradition marry the Men they fall in love with and find a way to convince Tevye that it is ok to love people that they for themselves, instead of benefiting their families.  Love is the basis for Fiddler on the Roof.

Loving your family, loving God, loving your neighbors, your Country, your possessions, your enemies (if your daughter marries them) and everything else.  Without love then the characters in Fiddler on the Roof would be poor in food, posessions, heart and soul.  It is their love that keeps their faith, keeps them together and keeps them alive.  Love for reading and learning. love for change and love for each other.

The story line of Fiddler on the Roof is great and tragic.  It is emotional and shows the plight of the Jews in Russia when they were forced out of their homes and beaten for their religion.  It has some of the most well known songs in theatre including Match Maker, Sunrise Sunset and If I Were a Rich Man which has been done over and over again by everyone from Pop Stars like Gwen Stefani to TV Shows.  The only things missing from this show are songs were people belt out a tune and hit a high note.  Unfortunately this show lacks that and even though the characters are very memorable, the DC and touring cast, except for Harvey Fierstein were very weak.

It is very rare that you leave a show and not love multiple characters.  The only person in the show everyone talked about was Harvey Fierstein.  Everyone else was somewhat talented but none of them stood out.  None of them was absolutely amazing and none of them were holy crap incredible.  Overall the shows music is great, but no show stopper songs, the characters are extremely well written, but this cast was poorly acted and the story line is classic.  Unfortunately since the cast I saw was extremely weak, except for Harvey Fierstein, I have to give Fiddler on the Roof 2 out of 5 stars.  If you are a Harvey Fierstein fan then it is worth going.  If you have never seen a show before it is somewhat worth going, but if you are a theatre fan and love to see a great show with a ton of amazing talent, this is not one for you to spend your money on.  Harvey Fierstein is amazing but if he wasn’t in the cast I would have given the show an even lower rating.

I love the show but would have loved a better cast.  I am being a little harsh and should give it a 3 out of 5 stars, but for some reason I just didn’t love the show when I saw it.  Maybe it was just an off day because the talent was there, but then again they should all be able to give it their all, Harvey was able to so it would have been nice to have seen them all give a performance like his.