Not only is tradition a theme of FIDDLER it is, in a way, an obstacle. With the Broadway original and the 1971 movie in their heads, most audiences have a vision of what this show should be. It is part of our history, our culture.
And it is frustrating for a director.
I have had a vision in my head of this show — how to pay homage to the original stage production and the movie, without be hindered by them as well. How do you make an icon a fresh work? By not directing an icon, and directing a script.
I was fortunate that our choreographer, Jake, didn’t want to replicate Jerome Robbins’ choreography. He has created new dances that add more to the visual effect of the show. It has been a joy to collaborate with him in putting more life into the steps of the villagers of Anatevka.
Rest assured, there is no avant-guarde stuff going on. I am trying to make this show both new and reverential, no easy task. The best compliment I’ve had so far was from our Tevye, Joe Schlosser. During a blocking rehearsal, I put a bit of schtick into a scene. Joe said, “I didn’t know this show was so funny.” And he is right! It is funny, not just sentimental. It is moving, not maudlin. It is a living work, not an artifact in amber.
So now to rehearsal. Until next time……