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., Wednesday October 23 | $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

A George Hitchcock Extravaganza

Friday, Mar 06, 2015
In 1957, Oregon playwright, poet and activist George Hitchcock testified before the House Un-American Activities Committee. The resulting chapbook Hitchcock on Trial, which contains the full tr ...
7 pm | Free
Mother Foucault's Bookshop 523 SE Morrison St. Portland Map

Bad News Guys...

Friday, Mar 06, 2015

Brody’s house comedians take on the task of putting on a successful catastrophe in this improvised staging of our favorite film genre. We’re still waiting for Sharknado at the Keller.

7:30 pm March 6 | $9-$12
Brody Theater 16 NW Broadway Web | Map

Barleywine and Big Beer Tastival

Friday, Mar 06, 2015

The problem with barleywines? Nobody ever has the patience and space to keep them around long enough. Lucky Lab brewmaster Ben Flerchinger solves that problem for all of us by storing t ...

Noon-10 pm | $15 for four tastes, $2 for 4-ounce tastes.
Lucky Labrador Beer Hall 1945 NW Quimby St. Map
Also At Gerding Theater

Other Desert Cities

Friday, Mar 06, 2015

Portland Center Stage presents a drama by Jon Robin Baitz about a wealthy family with a thorny past—because we've never seen any of those sorts of people onstage before.

7:30 pm Tuesdays-Sundays, 2 pm Saturdays-Sundays and noon Thursdays through March 22 | $39-$69
Gerding Theater 128 NW 11th Ave. Web | Map

Threesome

Friday, Mar 06, 2015

It only takes about 10 minutes for the first penis to appear. But that’s hardly the most shocking moment in Threesome, a richly scripted world-premiere producti ...

7:30 pm Tuesdays-Sundays (excluding Feb. 8, 22 and 24 and March 3 and 8); 2 pm select Saturdays-Sundays; noon select Thursdays. Through March 8 | $20-$55
Gerding Theater 128 NW 11th Ave. Web | Map

Other Desert Cities

Saturday, Mar 07, 2015

Portland Center Stage presents a drama by Jon Robin Baitz about a wealthy family with a thorny past—because we've never seen any of those sorts of people onstage before.

7:30 pm Tuesdays-Sundays, 2 pm Saturdays-Sundays and noon Thursdays through March 22 | $39-$69
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