Iíve seen many productions by Placer
Community Theater over the past several years, and this ambitious
staging of Fiddler on the Roof is one of their best. For a
start, itís performed in the newly renovated State Theatre. The
facilityís seating capacity has increased from 130 to 335, and the stage
and proscenium have been remodeled, along with other improvements less
obvious to the theater-goer.
Turning to this production, the
first thing one notices is the set. It is truly evocative of Anatevka.
And the set pieces (Tevyeís cart, wedding canopy, etc.), along with the
authentic costumes, really give a sense of place.
The show begins with singing, and I
was immediately impressed with the excellent ensemble sound. Among the
large cast of 36, there are many excellent singers, who contributed
harmony and made the big numbers memorable. Several of the solo singers
were strong, too, most notably David Lynn as Tevye, Kathy Goldie as
Golde, and Ben Harwell as Lazar Wolf. Several other principals also had
nice voices, but I found some to be a bit light, and they could really
have benefitted from amplification. Someone should donate two dozen
body mics to this fine production company Ė it would be an excellent
There was no problem hearing the
7-piece orchestra. In the absence of an orchestra pit in the theater,
the ensemble played from an alcove off to the left of the stage. That
made them an even more prominent part of the production, and their
playing was delightful and added a great deal to oneís enjoyment of this
Although most of the actors
displayed strong voices, I often missed hearing lines, and again, mics
would have been a help. Projection was no problem for most of the
principals, though. And most importantly, David Lynn as Tevye was not
only easy to hear, he did a beautiful job maintaining an ethnic accent.
Thatís no surprise: he scored an Elly nomination for the part of Tevye
in a 1999 production of Fiddler.
Hillís acting was especially good
here, too, as was that of so many members of this cast, though Kathy
Godie was an especially endearing Golde. I donít know if it was good
directing or good acting, but there were several points where I noticed
that good timing of lines got a laugh from the audience Ė or some other
appropriate reaction, and thereís no question that the large audience on
this Saturday night were fully engaged in this story. One more thing:
four dancers had been recruited for the show, and in the famous dance
scenes at the inn and at the wedding, they provided some of the
evening's most memorable highlights.
Placer Community Theaterís
Fiddler on the Roof is a faithful presentation of a well-loved
story. If itís been a while since youíve seen this show, take my
advice: go and fall in love with it all over again.