Friday, October 16, 2009

Fiddler on the Roof - Farewell Tour

Barnes and Noble at the Colonial Plaza Market Center had a meet and greet with the cast of Fiddler on the Roof. I have seen this show before and loved it, so I was curious to see what the cast had to say about this "Farewell Tour." I had also read an article that said that Chaim Topol did an amazing part of playing the lead part of Tevye the Jewish Russian milkman. Topol was in the 1971 film version of the play and had performed his part more than 2,500 times over the years. Topol's understudy was at the meet and greet. The shows theme of Tradition, rings true today more than ever. Times are hard but people with strong traditions know how to ride out the waves.
I was surprised that the seats were half full. The last time I came to one of these meet and greets, the place was packed to see the cast of Legally Blonde. I was also interesting that one actors chair remained empty much like the place setting that remains empty for the profit Elijah at Passover. The actors related the types of routines they go through in order to prepare each night for a performance. One actor stressed that "Every actor has something they do to get out of the way of the material". He said "You have to let go and surrender to the play." They all had hard knock stories about trying to get into and stay in the business of acting. When asked about any embarrassing moments, a story was immediately thrown out from last nights performance. The set pieces are on wheels and some have pneumatic pistons for helping move parts. That night a piston let out a long winded hiss of air which sounded very much like a person passing gas. Rather than ignore the loud unexpected distraction, the performer paused for a moment and then sniffed the air and waved his hand as if to clear the air. The audience loved it.
This event was over much sooner than I expected so I had to dash this sketch off quickly. I didn't stick around for the autograph signing since I had to rush off to another location to get another sketch.


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