Last updateFri, 21 Sep 2018 10am

‘Fiddler on the Roof’: LLT hits the heights with first-rate production of much-loved classic

This season’s musical at Lakeside Little Theatre, “Fiddler on the Roof,” comes alive with a massive cast, crew, musicians and technicians.

In addition to the five-piece band on stage at all times there are another 20-odd cast members, singing, dancing and acting. It is a big production of a classic play, proving that community theater can rise to great levels.

The year is 1905, the dawn of the Russian Revolution in the small Jewish village of Anatevka where, we quickly learn, day-to-day life is steeped in Tradition. This is the first – and the ongoing theme of the play – of many wonderful songs that are the strength of Fiddler. When the villagers sing together, they rival the best choirs, certainly at Lakeside and elsewhere. Then there are the standout solos, all accompanied by the exceptional live quintet.

The book is written by Joseph Stein, music by Jerry Bock and lyrics by Sheldon Harnick, based on stories by Yiddish writer Sholom Aleichem. The musical numbers are entertainment enough, but between songs is a story well worth telling. Patrick DuMouchel, last seen in LLT’s “Chicago,” shines as Tevye, the dairyman and father of five daughters, all of whom must be married off. Not always easy when you have no dowry because your family is poor. But, not to worry, Tevye’s conversations with the Almighty reveal his ability to see more than one side of a situation. Helena Feldstein as Golde, Tevye’s wife and the mother of his brood, holds her own in her debut performance acting and singing. Her role is to bring up the rear, so to speak, and she does it with kindness and authority.

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