True to Staples Players “Tradition,” Fiddler is another outstanding production

True to Staples Players  “Tradition,” Fiddler is another outstanding production

Hannah Bjorkman, Staff Writer

If you have never seen a Staples Players production, “Fiddler on the Roof” is not to be missed. “Fiddler on the Roof” is a musical based on the story of Tevye, a Jewish father holding on to the old world Jewish religious and cultural traditions in their small little village of Anatevka, Russia. It is set in 1905 on the eve of the Russian Revolution. Sounds too heavy? You have to see it, to witness a truly professional production that will keep you entranced throughout the night.

When the lights dimmed, the music began to play from the fiddler balancing on the rooftop set. A dramatic silhouette of the lonesome fiddler sets the tone of the story that was about to unfold. The fiddler drew you in from the very first draw of his strings. His presence is there throughout the play, but not always seen. He is the string that pulls the story along. The set design is simple but transforms to various parts of the village with ease and accuracy.

The action begins with a full stage of Russians dancing in their traditional steps. The sheer quantity of actors on the stage was impressive. There were many Russian dances sprinkled throughout the performance that were memorizing. The choreography was spectacular, but one dance number in particular was an utter standout. Imagine as many as 10 to 12 of our fellow students doing a Russian dance with a wine bottle on a top hat on their heads, without spilling a single drop of wine, while swinging, bending down, and turning. This performance was as good as any professional Russian dancer would have done.

Jacob Leaf played the lead character, Tevye, a poor Jewish father of five girls who, throughout the production, attempted to hold on to the Jewish traditions of Anatevka. He captured Tevye’s character not only with his commanding voice, but through his skillful body language and extraordinary hand gestures. An absolute superb portrayal of a spirited, poor Jewish milkman, Leaf was a captivating performer, who I could not take my eyes off of.

Alongside Jacob’s Leaf character, was Golde, played by Jordan Goodness. Goodness also put out a very strong performance. Her singing was crystal clear, and her acting was so believable. Golde brought emotion to her husband, but also it carried through to her children.

All the scenes were captivating in their own way, but one in particular made the shocked/surprised audience sit tall in their seats. The scene takes place in Tevye’s and Golde’s bedroom. Tevye, an honorable man was tormented in a dream because he went back on his word. He promised his eldest daughter to one man who was a rich butcher, but she loved another man who was a poor tailor. In this scene, Staples Players technical department showed off their expertise. The stage had a dreamy effect, with dream like lighting. The actors’ costumes supported the dream like feel, some actors were even suspended in the air, complete with movement. This created a ghost like effect, which brought to life Tevye’s dream which was actually a nightmare.

The Orchestra in the pitt made the production feel as though we were on 42nd and Broadway, punctuating the actors performance throughout the play. The transitions were seamless between each scene and flowed beautifully throughout the whole play.

With the outstanding combination of music, technical work and superb acting, this is a show that will go down as one of the best performances by our Staples Players.