About This Blog

I really like theatre, and I like writing and talking about it.

This blog is mostly about my relationship with theatre, the moments that make me fall in love with this art form, and the times when we don't always get along.

I'll be writing about things that I like, that I think are good and interesting and want to share. I will probably also write about things that I don't quite get, or think are wierd. I may also write about things that aren't theatre, strictly speaking, because it's my blog and I can.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

It Grew On Me

Today I found out that Jerry Bock, the composer of Fiddler on the Roof and She Loves Me passed away, so I thought this would be a good opportunity to talk about my relationship with Fiddler.

I was a senior when I found out we were doing it for our high school musical. I was not enthused.

I had seen the movie when I was a kid, and attended a staging at a local family theater (Wheelock?) when I was in middle school, and of course everyone knows "If I Were A Rich Man". But I just did not get the appeal of the show. What was the story arc? It's about a poor milkman with five daughters, three of whom get married to partners he doesn't really approve of, and there's an impending Tsarist threat which never really improves.

Being a senior, I was hoping to get a lead, so I was pretty disappointed to be cast as Fruma Sarah (the  ghost). I only had one scene. Ok, I was also a villager in all the group scenes, but come on...Well, it ended up beind some of the most fun I ever had on stage. The actors playing Tevye and Golda were (and are still) really good friends of mine, so I had a blast terrorizing them. Then I didn't have to stress about my performance for the rest of the show, and I could come out at the curtain call and collect tons of applause. I forgot that the dream sequence is one of the most memorable parts of the show.

But the important thing is that, during the course of rehearsing the show, I came to understand it. I was too young for it when I first saw it, and as a teenager it took living inside it to really get it. While Fiddler is a family show, it's really a show for grown-ups. It's about adult problems and emotions, like realizing your children's paths in life won't be the same as yours, or that you'll probably never achieve financial stability, or that you'll have to leave the home you probably thought you were going to die in.

One more quick note: I recently saw John Williams conduct the Entr'acte from this show at his concert at the Hollywood Bowl. I unfortunately do not have the name of the violin soloist, but she was absolutely entrancing (actually, my friends made fun of me for watching with my elbows on my knees and my chin in my hands). I don't get to much live music, so to hear someone play that well was a real treat.

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