Return of a Classic: ‘Fiddler on the Roof’

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“Fiddler on the Roof,” opening today at The Hippdrome, is a story of fathers and daughters, husbands and wives — and life, love and laughter.

Need a plot refresher? Choreography associate Christopher Evans has one for you.

“It’s about the main character of Tevye, who is the father of five daughters, and a fairly poor milkman,” Evans says. “It’s about him and his family and his daughters slowly finding changes within their very set tradition within the Jewish community. That’s something they’ve lived life for years and years. The way they sleep, the way they eat and the way marriage takes place. Tevye finds himself in amongst new generations and changes to these traditions, in which he has to find ways of navigating his way around. He’s negotiating the love for his family and the traditions of his religion, of his faith.”

And an old and familiar storyline for many, and Evans says he is most excited for audiences to see a different take on the musical’s dance sequences.

“Hofesh Shechter, the show’s choreographer, gave me the entire responsibility of being able to take the choreography and put on completely new moves with new dancers,” he says. “He entrusted me, giving me a little bit of license to make the creative choices needed to deal with a show that is no longer going to be sitting in one theater every single day. So for me as a stager, it’s been a wonderful elevation in responsibility to take this show on.”

Bartlett Sher, the show’s director, is a “very clever man,” Evan says and “very good at doing work that always seems to punch some feeling of naturalism, and the acting comes from thought rather than just lines and text and beats.”

“There was that excitement about doing a show that has something going on underneath, something a little bit sharper and more interesting,” he says. “To be caught off guard by the new dynamic of the dancing is definitely what I enjoy. My quiet pleasure is being in the audience and seeing people who for some reason have not been exposed to dance suddenly exposed to it.”

And a new generation will be introduced to this classic play.

“It’s incredibly well written, and it stands up as a piece of writing,” Evans says.

Hippodrome Theatre, through Nov. 18. Tickets start at $20. france-merrickpac.com

 

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