Saturday, November 14, 2015

review - FIDDLER ON THE ROOF - Mesa Encore Theatre

Jeffrey J. Davey and Kelsey Blanco
Photo by Daniel Perlmutter
highlights from local critics reviews - (click link at bottom of each review to read complete review)

Click here for more information on this production that runs through November 22nd.

"...Set in 1900s Russia, Fiddler on the Roof is about a large group of townspeople and Mesa Encore Theatre's production has a cast of 40 actors of all ages, which gives a strong sense of the community at the heart of the story. This is just one of the many highlights of Mesa Encore Theatre's well directed and solid production of this beloved and timeless musical....Director/choreographer Noel Irick lets the heart of the story come through strongly...providing an intimacy to the show... incorporates some of the signature Jerome Robbins dance steps into her choreography, including the famous wedding bottle dance, but has come up with some effective movement of her own that work extremely well, especially with such a large cast. Jeffrey J. Davey and Kelsey Blanco are very good as Tevye and his wife Golde. They exhibit appropriate behavior for a couple that is supposed to have been together for twenty five years, yet didn't know each other until the day they wed. They have strong voices and appropriate facial expressions and reactions, resulting in two well thought out performances. Davey is especially good in the several moments when he has conversations with God.
There isn't a weak link in the entire supporting cast...While the set design by Bryan Rosen is fairly minimal, it works fine. The lighting design by Zachary J. Huffman and Mickey Courtney's costume designs are superb. Huffman creates some beautiful imagery with a range of colors that paint the back wall of theatre to set the time of day and season, along with shadowy night time scenes and Courtney's period perfect costumes are an abundance of varied patterns and colors. Debra Jo Davey works wonders with her small orchestra and her large cast, achieving lovely sounds from all, including effective work from McKenna Clausen as the the Fiddler. When done right, Fiddler on the Roof is a powerful piece of musical theatre. The combination of a wonderful score, a strong sense of humor, and realistic drama effectively tells the tale of a simple man in a changing world. With a talented cast, good direction and fine creative aspects, Mesa Encore Theatre's production of this musical theatre classic is very well done."  -Gil Benbrook, Talkin' Broadway (click here to read the complete review)

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