Get ready everyone-this wondrous musical based on Solomon Rabinovitz aka Sholem Aleichem's Stories has made its way to Montreal, and will delight anyone looking for an enchanted evening. This is the first production by the Dora Wasserman Yiddish Theatre since the passing, this past December, of its founding artistic director-Mrs. Dora Wasserman C.M., C.A. While the entire play is in Yiddish, there are both English and French subtitles to keep you 'in the know'. If you don't like the constant shifting between reading and watching, don't worry because the singing, dancing, tone of voice and body languages speak for themselves. This is definitely one of the best productions put on by the Saidye Bronfman and deserves a full house every night. There are mounds of candy for the eyes and ears, not to mention more than a little socio-historical data to interest both the learned and naïve. This is a show pointed, poignant and yet also humourous that tells the tale of Tevye, a dairyman struggling to keep ancient traditions alive while raising five independently minded daughters. He is forced to face the changes happening all around him in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and his struggle speaks clearly of many of today's issues as well.
This production is a remarkable piece of craftsmanship that uses every square inch of space to create the little village of Anatevka where "every one is a fiddler on the roof". The miniature buildings, designed by John C. Dinning, expand and contract to reveal the inner workings of the very private sanctums of Jewish life. The size of the cast (40 plus or so) and the fact that they all spoke and could sing in Yiddish, was incredible. The time that went into this smooth production is rather mind-boggling. Every single cast member did their part with precision and confidence but Sam Stein as Tevye and Andee Shuster as Golde definitely stole the high moments of the show. Musical Director Ada Sinacore and Choreographer Audrey Finkelstein were a terrific combination who created the type of show that demanded intense effort from all members involved and delivered past the normal expectations. A delight to the eyes and ears that should have one humming "If I were a Rich Man" all the way home.
Saidye Bronfman Theater
Run: June 11 – 27; Mon to Thurs @ 8pm
Sun Matinee @ 2pm & @ 7pm
Box Office: 514.739.7944
5170 Cote St. Catherine Rd.
Price: 16$ to 38$