‘Fiddler’ will make you laugh and cry

By Meredith Pechta, Theater Reviewer | Jan 09, 2013
Courtesy of: Jay Koh Village Theatre’s production of “Fiddler on the Roof” is showing at the Everett Performing Arts Center through Jan. 27.

Village Theatre is beginning the new year with an old favorite: “Fiddler on the Roof.”

“Fiddler” has so much to offer an audience. It’s about the harshness of life, the importance of family, and the need for faith in a higher power.

The story takes place in Russia in the early 1900s. It revolves around a family of seven. The father, Tevye, is a Jewish milkman who believes in two things; God and family. He loves both with equal devotion.

His three eldest daughters are all old enough to get married and, one by one, choose their husbands. The eldest, Tzeitel, wants to marry the poor and nervous tailor, Motel. The second daughter, Hodel, sets her sights of a tutor who is a revolutionary. Chava, on the other hand, takes the biggest risk of all and falls in love with a Christian.

Marrying outside of ones religion was most uncommon back then, and Tevye –though a very loving father – can’t allow that compromise.

Whatever your religion, this story is quite identifiable. Everyone has family members who make choices that one can’t condone.

It is always a balancing act trying figure how much you can bend, without breaking your beliefs. Tevye does an extraordinary job of conveying this task as he deals with the joys and tragedies of life.

The songs and the costumes in “Fiddler” are amazing. There is a song that was evidently cut out of the movie called “Now I Have Everything,” sung by Perchick and Hodel.

Eric Polani Jensen is phenomenal as Tevye. You may remember him as the Beast in Village Theatre’s “Beauty and the Beast.” In his acting, he demonstrates great range as he shows how heart-broken he is. His Tevye is a marvel.

Village Theatre veteran Bobbi Kotula plays the mother Golde who is a stubborn, yet kind woman. Her scenes with Jensen are funny and genuinely moving.

Tzeitel, the eldest daughter, is played by Jennifer Weingarten. She’s been in a few Village Theatre productions, and hopefully will continue to be.

Joshua Carter plays the timid intended Motel. He is wonderful in this part, and does what many should do; fights for his happiness.

The second daughter, Hodel, is played by Emily Cawley. She’s very delightful even as she is met by hardship in her new life.

Aaron C. Finley plays the defiant Perchick. He is cursed with the knowledge of the extraordinary injustices in the world, but is hopeful enough to try to change it.

Mara Solar plays the third daughter, Chava, who crosses the line with her choice of husband. She has a hard journey ahead of her. Solar’s performance is quite moving.

Mike Spee plays Chava’s groom. Although he isn’t seen as much as the other two grooms, he’s there long enough to make a favorable impression.

The funny and meddling matchmaker Yente is played by Laura Kenny; Matthew Posner plays the first potential groom to Tzeital.

You shouldn’t miss this lovely story that will make you laugh and cry.

“Fiddler in the Roof” is playing at the Everett Performing Arts Center though Jan.27. For ticket information call 425-257-8600.

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