Here we are, almost a week after the Orlando shootings,a nd I am still a little bit of a wreck about it. Lives were senselessly ended, and we ask why, and try to find the answers. The actor Rory O Malley tweeted on Sunday that for a lot of us, Broadway is our church, and there we will find solace. I decided to watch the new revival of Fiddler On The Roof, and that haunting image of people leaving Anatevka is a stark reminder that sometimes we have not progressed – there is still hate there is still a majority out there who will not be happy with our differences, instead of celebrating them.
As with other Bartlett Sher productions, this Fiddler is simpler – none of the obvious comic excesses of Zero Mostel. He tries to get the human emotion of Teyve, and Danny Burstein is perfect to a T. There is no mugging here for laughs, he trusts the book and music enough to do it for him. There are times that I thought his interpretation was a little too modern, but I got over that quickly. He deserves a Tony for his performance, but I could also say Lesley deserved his, too, so there’s no winning in any of our statements. And the glorious score is sung and played there on stage at The Broadway Theater. Again, this is one of those shows where there is no throwaway song, and there is still a pierce in my heart whenever I hear ‘Sunrise Sunset.’ Jessica Hecht is a subdued Golde, and I kind of miss the wackiness of previous actresses doing the role (I remember an almost out-of-control Rosie O’Donnell in the 2004 revival, and well, maybe we don’t need that crazy a performance)
But I go back to the stage-as-church metaphor, and certainly watching the show made me feel a lot better, and when Teyve says in the end. “God Be With You,” I almost feel like he is talking to all the forty nines lives who perished at Pulse Nightclub.