Shalom Life | April 19, 2014

REVIEW: Stage West Theatre’s 'Fiddler on the Roof'

The production of this venerable musical stars George Masswohl as Tevye.

By: Sarah Bauder

Published: February 22nd, 2013 in Culture » Stage » Reviews

REVIEW: Stage West Theatre’s 'Fiddler on the Roof'
With nine Tony Awards including Best Musical, not to mention an Oscar winning screen adaptation directed by Norman Jewison, it was a logical decision for Stage West Mississauga to embark on a production of the much beloved, Fiddler on the Roof. Directed and choreographed by the adept Max Reimer, the production stars the exceedingly talented George Masswohl as Tevye.

For those unfamiliar, Fiddler on the Roof is set in the Russian village of Antevka in 1905. The tale follows Tevye the milkman, father of five daughters, as he attempts to maintain the traditional Jewish ways as change rapidly transpires around him. Infused with equal portions of humor and somberness, this production of Fiddler certainly delivers. To be frank, it rivals if not surpasses past commercial theatrical touring productions of the musical, in terms of quality and talent. The aforementioned Masswohl, a denizen of North American stages from Off-Broadway to Stratford, is a joy to watch. He plays the iconic Tevye with wry wit, melancholy, and fantastic comedic timing. It is evident that Masswohl is emboldened by the stage – perfectly at home in the glare of spotlights.

Casting in general was expertly done, plucking a wealth of Canadian talent and setting them all upon one stage. In fact, the rendition of “Matchmaker, Matchmaker” sung by the talented Gabi Epstein, the lovely Amy Wallis (second daughter, Hodel) and the equally lovely Nicole Norsworthy (third daughter, Chava) was phenomenal, and better even than the commercial theatrical touring production that rolled into town a few years back. Likewise, top-rate performances were given by Denise Oucharek as Golde, Jon-Alex Macfarlane as Motel, Eric Craig as Perchik, Christina Gordon as Yente, and Sandy Winsby as Lazar Wolf.

A simple, yet effective set design was the brainchild of Samantha Burson. In addition, Lori Hickling’s beautiful costumes aid in evoking the time period. Musical director Anthony Bastianon leads a five-piece band that performs all the production’s music live – nary a pre-recorded note here.

Stage West Mississauga’s production of Fiddler on the Roof exceeded expectations. With great food and great theatre, it is a definite must-see. The production runs until April 21, 2013. For ticket info, click here.
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