All tagged Fiddler on the Roof
You would have to be living under a rock if you are not aware that our Vice President Elect, the monstrously bigoted Michael Pence of Indiana, the man who has done everything to mock minorities and spit in the face of gay rights, attended the Broadway musical Hamilton recently. THE Hamilton that tells the story of our forefathers in an artistic stroke of revisionist history that employs diversity in its casting to underline the disparity in crediting everyone who helped to shape America. Kudos to the cast of the production who gently and respectfully schooled His Royal Highness on his hypocrisy by actually welcoming him for coming and suggesting he might learn something. Once again the power of musical theatre had the potential to change minds and open eyes. As Vice President Elect Pence left the theatre, he was booed by people who didn’t like the way he thinks and it had to be a hard pill swallow for this poor, misunderstood wolf in Christian clothing.
Broadway musical sequels are seldom successful (or a good idea) so I’d like to preface this article by asserting that I, in no way, suggest that creating a sequel to any of these shows should happen (see my piece this coming Sunday on musical sequels for further debate on that topic). What I will suggest is that there are certain musicals that ended in a way that made us curious about what comes next. Whether the characters’ stories still have some journey left in them, or we are left with burning questions that we want answered, these are the ten musicals that have made me ponder their fates past the curtain call.
There are a lot of amazing things happening on stage at the Broadway Theatre in the current revival of Fiddler on the Roof: artistry, beautiful singing, poignancy, poetry and a darkness that underscores a bleak time in the history of European Jews. There is also a disappointing lack of joy in a production that is so earnest in telling the hardship and heartache that it forgets that there is a reason why we love Anatevka and are moved by it's quirky denizens: their sense of humor about all things.
I am sure that I am treading in dangerous territory here. It's hard writing passionately about musical theatre and always trying to find positive things to say about every musical you encounter. There is such an intense love among musical theatre fans for the genre itself, and in particular a devotion to certain titles, that it makes it tricky to admit in your writing that you just don't warm up to certain shows. Having been both a historian and theatre critic for twenty-four years now, I have found that people relish your positive assessments but get angry with you if you are left cold by a certain piece. Since theatre is a personal experience, and reactions are shaped by mood, the quality of the production, and individual tastes, of course not every show is going to speak to me. Critics and historians are, in fact, humans as well and entitled to their opinions. It doesn’t mean you have to agree with me.