Home / Events / Theater / Fiddler on the Roof

Fiddler on the Roof

REBECCA JACOBSON
7:30 pm Tuesdays-Sundays, 2 pm Saturdays-Sundays, noon Thursdays through Nov. 3., Thursday October 10 | $38-$72.
Gerding Theater
128 NW 11th Ave.
 
“Twenty-eight?!” my friend exclaimed, after I told her the size of the cast for Portland Center Stage’s Fiddler on the Roof. “There aren’t even that many Jews in Portland!” (Give her a break: She’s a Jew from Long Island. And for the record, there are close to 50,000 Jews in Portland.) But I took her point. Despite our recent bagel boom, this isn’t exactly a city teeming with yarmulke-clad, kosher-keeping denizens. How would PCS artistic director Chris Coleman—himself a goy from Atlanta—treat this portrait of life in a Jewish shtetl in pre-revolutionary Russia? Would he turn it into an allegory for Syria? For Israel-Palestine? For the embattled Right 2 Dream Too homeless encampment? The answer, mercifully, is no. It’s easy to make contemporary analogies for the classic musical, which centers on Tevye, a tradition-bound milkman facing the forces of modernity and malice. But what makes this production work is its refusal to generalize or to draw sweeping parallels. Coleman brings texture to a broad tale: It’s neither weepily mournful nor parodically ridiculous. As Tevye, David Studwell plays a man weary but resilient, buoyed by a dark and idiosyncratically Jewish sense of humor. The other cast members—all speaking in distinctive Russian-Jewish accents, one of the things that gives the production such satisfying specificity—also bring nuance to broadly drawn characters. The design choices, too, fit both Fiddler and Portland: The floor-to-ceiling backdrop of reclaimed wood would be at home in any farm-to-cone ice cream parlor serving noodle-kugel sorbet. The wood chips on the floor, which go flying during peppy dance sequences, are another nice touch. Fiddler may lack the subversion of a Sondheim musical, the humor of Spamalot or the swooning emotionality of West Side Story. But it’s hard to deny its warm and homespun allure, which tugs on our desire for tradition while warning us of the dangers of insularity. L’chaim!

Where: Gerding Theater
Phone: 445-3700
Address: 128 NW 11th Ave.
Website: pcs.org

 
 
Other events in Theater

Bennet Norrbo: Nice & Naughty

Friday, Sep 19, 2014
Beloved Portland artist Bennet Norrbo died last year at 83. A year later, his friend and artistic executor, gallerist Marilyn Murdoch, is mounting an affectionate retrospective of his work, spanning m ...
Murdoch Collections 2219 NW Raleigh St. Portland Web | Map

Christopher Russell: Dissonance, Coincidence & Errant Gradations of Light

Friday, Sep 19, 2014
Christopher Russell has a perverse and most welcome irreverence for the photographic print. He folds them like paper airplanes, then scratches them to hell with razor blades. The prismatic sunburst of ...
Elizabeth Leach Gallery 417 NW 9th Ave. Web | Map

David Geiser: Oceanic

Friday, Sep 19, 2014
Not since 2003 has an installation in Butters Gallery made such immediate visceral impact. That installation, like the one up now, was by painter David Geiser. In 2003 it was an implosion of horizonta ...
Butters 520 NW Davis St., 2nd floor Web | Map
Also At Gerding Theater

The Liberators

Saturday, Sep 20, 2014

Slingshot, an intermittent comedy series co-produced by Bad Reputation and Portland Center Stage, returns with a performance by improv maestros the Liberators. This show is called Mood Music ...

8 pm Saturday, Sept. 20 | $15-$20
Gerding Theater 128 NW 11th Ave. Web | Map

Dreamgirls

Saturday, Sep 20, 2014

Portland Center Stage, the city's largest theater company, typically kicks off its season with a big ol' musical. This year is no different: PCS artistic director Chris Coleman helms a production o ...

7:30 pm Tuesdays-Saturdays; 7:30 pm most Sundays; 2 pm select Saturdays and Sundays; noon select Thursdays. Closes Nov. 2. | $34-$74
Gerding Theater 128 NW 11th Ave. Web | Map

Dreamgirls

Sunday, Sep 21, 2014

Portland Center Stage, the city's largest theater company, typically kicks off its season with a big ol' musical. This year is no different: PCS artistic director Chris Coleman helms a production o ...

7:30 pm Tuesdays-Saturdays; 7:30 pm most Sundays; 2 pm select Saturdays and Sundays; noon select Thursdays. Closes Nov. 2. | $34-$74
Gerding Theater 128 NW 11th Ave. Web | Map
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
comments powered by Disqus
 

Web Design for magazines

Close
Close
Close