Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Fiddler on the Roof REVIEW

Fiddler raises the roof at BHS Performance Center

Drama Club honors its own ‘Tradition!’

By Heather Wysocki

If it takes a village to raise a child, it in turn takes a bunch of children to create a village. For evidence, simply look to the Barnstable High School Drama Club’s production of Fiddler on the Roof.

As part of its 50th anniversary celebration, the club reached into history, selecting a well-loved play last performed at the school in 2001.

What makes it just as special this time around is the same enthusiasm, professionalism and dedication the BHS players put into every performance.

Under all the spirit-gummed beards and ragged period costumes, it’s easy to mistake the kids in Fiddler for a much more seasoned group.

Director John Sullivan pulls out all the stops of a Broadway production, turning the BHS Performing Arts Center into a quintessential Russian village and his cast into peasants. Sullivan’s organization and direction take the show to the professional level, and the huge cast of high schoolers from ragtag to remarkable.

Per the Drama Club’s usual, Fiddler is presented traditionally, with plenty of Russian accents, small-town humor and that famous Russian drinking habit.

BHS’s Fiddler is the perfect mix of solemn and silly, befitting a quirky village facing quite a few hard decisions. The players’ true-to-script performances will please theater purists, while everybody-knows-them songs peppered throughout will please the ear of pretty much everyone.

Songs range from tender and touching (Tevye and Golde’s spectacular “Do You Love Me?) to wacky (Tevye’s “If I Were A Rich Man”), and each is performed with gusto and feeling.

Memorable performances by both BHS vets and newcomers create an enjoyable, all-out show befitting a stylish golden celebration.

As the “papa” of a family of six women, Matt Kohler simply stuns with his Tevye. Kohler combines an appropriately extravagant Russian accent with Tevye’s other quirks to create a loveable, laughable main character. Tevye’s decisions regarding his family are painful to watch, while his unique conversations with God are sarcastic and highly amusing.

Don’t miss Kohler’s wacky, wiggly dance, either; the legs-made-of-Jell-O walk and enthusiastic snaps are hilarious and shouldn’t be discounted.

Women of the household Golde, Tevye’s wife, and Tzeitel, his first daughter, bring both the family and the town together with their mix of traditional (Golde’s tendency to invite matchmaker Yente, played by an absolutely wacky Emily Kanzer, to hitch her daughters on a daily basis) and rebellious (Tzeitel’s decision to marry for love).

As the two women, Kelly Mosher and Cait Gardipe, respectively, bring strong voices and strong performances to the stage. Gardipe’s saucy wit and Mosher’s uptight mothering mix perfectly, creating the perfect onstage example of a loving family at odds.

The chemistry between Shane Harris as rebel student Perchick and Rachel Miller as second daughter Hodel is palpable, and Miller’s “Far From the Home I Love” is stirring and altogether beautiful.

Adding even more to Fiddler are performances by Joe Barry as the elderly but still swinging rabbi, Elliot Sicard as Tzeitel’s unassuming husband, Siobhan Magnus as an appropriately shrieky ghost, and the huge cast of traditional villagers that add to each scene they’re in.

The BHS cast loves what they do, and it shows in strong voices and performances throughout. Though the cast’s individual performances are spectacular, what makes Fiddler so successful is the obvious teamwork onstage.

Essential to the production, too, are the costumes, created by a bevy of BHS volunteers and parents. Outfitting a cast of more than 50 in beards, prayer shawls and peasant garb can’t be easy, but each player onstage has a full and realistic costume.

Professional-grade musicians under the director of conductor Michael Gross keep the play moving, missing nary a note. The single instrument of fiddler Ethan Brown, the title character who makes a few appearances onstage, lends a yearning quality to the music that an entire orchestra of fiddles couldn’t.

The play’s set designers, too, deserve a nod for their unique renditions of Tevye’s daydreams (the use of a green screen to create an eerie, ephemeral memory is brilliant) and wonderfully versatile village buildings.

Though each scene, song and speech lends a little something to the whole of Fiddler, the BHS production could have been shortened somewhat to appeal more to playgoers used to shorter shows. At three hours, Fiddler never reaches boring, but some scenes do drag and could have easily been cut. For this reason, Fiddler probably isn’t a great show for the Nickelodeon Jr. set.

Through their sometimes mournful, sometimes zany antics as villagers, the kids in Fiddler teach an important lesson: Traditions can come and go, but the spirit of community is what can keep a little town together.

The BHS Drama Club production of Fiddler on the Roof will show Nov. 23 and 24 at 7 p.m. and Nov. 25 at 2 p.m. in the BHS Performing Arts Center. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased by calling the box office at 508-771-6246.


Fiddler on the Roof Last weekend!
Nov 23 and 24 at 7 and 25 at 2
All Seats are $10.
Reservations - call 508 771 6246
Tickets for all performances can also be purchased in advance at the following locations: Cape Cod Five, Hyannis and Centerville branches, Puritan Shop, Orleans and Hyannis stores and at Books by the Sea, Main Street, Osterville.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Matt Kohler as Tevya askes his wife Golde played by Kelly Mosher "Do You Love Me?"

Matt Kohler as Tevya the milkman and Chris Houghton as Perchik and Rachael Miller as Tevya's daughter Hodel in the production of Fiddler on the Roof.

Fiddler on the Roof a "must see"

Janet Joakim
Town Council President
Town Council Precint 6

I just got back from watching a wonderful performance of Fiddler on the Roof.

The kids in this town are so talented!

The acting and singing were superb! The set was incredibly well-done, the lighting and special effects fabulous, the costumes and the music from the orchestra in the pit were all tremendous!!

The audience was full of lots of familiar faces from around the community - occasionally as we enjoyed the show, we forgot that we were watching a high school performance.

The Barnstable High School drama club is an institution that has been held together by the talent and dedication of John Sullivan. The performances bring together the time and talent from around the halls of the school. The art work, engineering and design that goes into sets and set manipulation, the musical talents of musicians who play throughout the performance from the lowered pit in front of the stage, the technical talents of the kids who manipulate the sound and lighting boards, design and create costumes, design and do makeup, dance choreography, and what I used to call when I was in high school drama- set and prop choreography, the advertising,the design and printing of posters and programs, the selling of tickets, the kitchen set up to sell food, and the ushers….. and there is much more…. so many of our talented students and dedicated adults work together to make these shows something we are so proud to call our own here in Barnstable.

Those of us who participated in the effort to win the All America City Award learned first hand of the experience John Sullivan and his side kick, Shakespeare extraordinaire Ed O’Toole share with their students.

This is a wonderful way to spend and afternoon or evening with family and friends during this holiday week.

And, new this year is a partnership with Cape Cod Hospital Auxillary - this partnership will help both the drama club and the effort to raise money for the hospital’s cardio-care facility.

Please come out and catch a show before it wraps up!

See all of the details here: http://www.bhsdc.org/

Ads by GoogleWest Barnstable Realtor
Search the West Barnstable MA MLS View Local MA Homes For Sale
www.ZipRealty.comFiddler On The Roof
Looking for Fiddler On The Roof? Find exactly what you want today.
Know Before You Go. Read Reviews from Real Travelers.
www.TripAdvisor.comBarnstable Home Sale
Free List of Hot Homes for sale In Your Area. Daily Email Sign Up Now


The BHS drama club does it again!
Comment by CW - cotuit — November 19, 2007 #

Congratulations to all on a job well done.
These students at BHS are so lucky to have these opportunities. It is like being on a winning team in sports. I was in this program over ten years ago and it has meant so much to me, and helped make me who I am today.
Comment by Fitz278 — November 19, 2007 #

Comment by Anonymous — November 19, 2007 #
Fiddler on the Roof Opens!

This review came from Cape Cod Today...

I caught the Barnstable High School Drama Club production of "Fiddler on the Roof" Saturday night, November 17, and the operative word is PRODUCTION. It rivaled any professional presentation I've seen.

Director and Set Designer John Sullivan's research, attention to detail, and the cast's smooth and clever set-changing gave it all the hallmarks of a Broadway production. Sullivan, an art teacher at the school, directed a cast of over 100 students, including some from middle school to play the younger parts.

Matt Kohler, in the lead role as Tevye, looked and acted the part besides singing it. People asked me, "Is he a student? He looks like an old man." The makeup, perfected mannerisms and rough, baritone voice did it. He WAS Tevye.

Siobhan Magnus played his wife, Golda, Saturday. (Sullivan alternates some of the cast members.) Her voice was operatic. Absolutely enchanting. The rest of the cast was also spectacular with splendid singing and acting and exceptional dancing.

Backing up the Drama Club in the orchestra pit, under the direction of Michael Gross, was a sixteen-piece orchestra, fifteen local professionals and one student. My friend and old high school chum, Cape Cod's ever-popular John Salerno, played accordion to give the sound an old world flair, accompanied by other members of his Big Swing Band, including Dennis Nobrega on clarinet with his klezmer styling, and Phil Vitali keeping rhythm on percussion.

The BHS Drama Club is donating a portion of the proceeds from all performances and ALL the proceeds from the Sunday, November 18 matinee at 2pm, to the Cape Cod Hospital Auxiliary.

The show continues next Friday and Saturday nights, November 23 and 24, at 7pm, and next Sunday afternoon, November 25, at 2pm. You will truly have an enchanted evening and will know you are helping our local hospital at the same time. And it's only ten bucks. Make it a point to see it. You'll be glad you did.