kjpepper: (movie reel)
I am watching Fiddler on the Roof. Or rather I was. I paused it at the entr'acte.

I'd actually never seen it before, though I know quite a few of the songs by heart growing up in a musical crazed household and numerous chorus medleys in school. It's nice to be able to put them into context finally, not to mention goggle at the brilliance of Jerome Robbins' choreography. I'd seen snippets of the Bottle Dance before. The whole thing caught me with my jaw down. I'm quite sure something is holding those bottles onto the hats. But I'm willing to think Jerome Robbins is just crazy enough to make the dancers perfect it with just the bottle.

I read a little bit ago that there's a tour of this running until August, and it's Topol's farewell tour. (I would hope so - the man is 73!) I have to wonder what its like for a stage actor to gain stardom in one career defining role, and then find him/herself playing that role over and over and over again? Does returning to the character feel like visiting an old friend, or putting on an old well loved sweater? Or does it become a burden after a while? Yul Brynner played The King almost up until his death; I suppose when Topol passes on, they'll have that conversation.

Debating whether to save Act II for tomorrow - despite its moments of high comedy (there are points where you think the musical should be renamed Tevye: Bitching At God Again, and that scene in the graveyard foreshadowed Helena Bonham Carter in Tim Burton movies by about 30 years) this is not a light fluffy musical. That and it's already 11:25.

July 2009

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