McLean High School
Lights illuminate the silhouette of a sole fiddler standing on top of a building, and with a few piercing notes, Osbourn High School's Fiddler on the Roof begins. The symbolism of this precariously balanced musician mirrors the Jewish communities' uncertain fate in a complex story of poverty, persecution, tradition, and family. Become immersed in the town of Anatevka and experience their hardships and celebrations in an unforgettable tale.
Fiddler on the Roof is based on a series of short stories written by Sholem Aleichem between 1894 and 1914 called Tevye and his Daughters. It was adapted into a musical with music by Jerry Bock, lyrics by Sheldon Harnick, and book by Joseph Stein, opening on Broadway in 1964. The story centers around Tevye, a poor Jewish man with 5 daughters, living in Imperial Russia in 1905. In Anatevka, Jewish tradition is important, but the community constantly faces persecution and uncertainty. Meanwhile, Tevye must come to terms with his daughters growing older and making their own decisions, even if it means deviating from what he has always known.
Jordan Drake as Tevye was filled with energy from start to finish, whether bouncing around the stage dreaming of riches or flailing wildly while celebrating in a bar. His laudable physical comedy never skipped a beat, and he was a constant source of entertainment. Complementing Tevye was his family, especially his wife Golde played by Sage McAndrew. McAndrew delivered perfectly a jocular bickering with Tevye, and her stellar vocal ability was the highlight of many musical numbers. Among Tevye and Golde's daughters, Erica Burns as Tzeitel captured a rebellious nature from the beginning, while Izzy Lucas as Hodel and Kylee Donovan as Chava moved effortlessly from accepting and innocent to rebelling against tradition and seeking their own happiness.
Other onstage standouts included Jarin Wildman as Perchick, a revolutionary teacher who falls in love with Hodel. He emanated a gentle sweetness when with her, and together their chemistry was endearing. Comedic characters, as well, were notable: Phillip Jones as Lazar Wolfe, a suitor for Tzeitel, elicited peals of laughter in his bar scene with Tevye, and Julianna Misas-Segovia as Grandma Tzeitel impressed during "The Dream".
Efficient technical elements helped tie the production together, including a lively orchestra, a set with moving and multifunctional pieces, and colorful costumes. The orchestra, especially, was applaudable, adding boundless energy to each memorable song.
Osbourn High School's production of Fiddler on the Roof delivered heavy themes of faith and family with aplomb, while also capturing humor and fun in lighthearted moments. The school successfully put on a performance sure to reach many and make every viewer want to return for more.
Oakton High School
In a battle between old ideas and new, how can one find love? This question is tackled amidst singing, dancing, and a little bit of drinking in Osbourn High School's production of "Fiddler on the Roof."
First premiering on Broadway in 1964, Fiddler on the Roof is based on "Tevye and His Daughters" by Sholem Aleichem. The original production held the record for longest-running Broadway musical for almost 10 years, and won nine Tony Awards, including the award for Best Musical. It later saw an acclaimed film adaptation in 1971, as well as five Broadway revivals.
The show follows the life of a poor dairyman, Tevye, and his attempts to maintain his Jewish "Tradition" as outside influences encroach upon his village, his family, and himself. Jordan Drake stole the show as leading man, Tevye. Complete with stellar comedic timing as well as genuine contrasts during intimate moments, Drake made it clear that Tevye's devotion to his family is unlike anything else. With expert characterization of the loving, yet overbearing father, his crazy antics, and a stool that he would dramatically pull out to rant on, Drake pulled out all the stops. He maintained a phenomenal accent throughout the entire production, as well as having wonderful diction, which is extremely commendable.
Gracing the stage as his wife Golde, Sage McAndrew brought a steady balance to Tevye's hot head and high energy. Creating genuine connections with Drake, Golde showed great maturity and the pair had great chemistry as the husband and wife who had been married for so long. As their five daughters, Tzeitel, Hodel, Chava, Shprintze, and Bielke, Erin Burns, Izzy Lucas, Kylee Donovan, Megan Reed, and Jackie Hertz, respectively, charmed the audience. One by one, as the daughters marry off, each in unorthodox ways, the family dynamic shifts, and each girl brought a new energy to the stage when it did.
In a commendable performance was Phillip Jones as Lazar Wolfe, the butcher who had tried to take Tzeitel's hand in marriage. Jones and Drake created one of the most memorable scenes in the show, leaving audiences shouting "L'chaim!" ("To Life!"). Jones and Drake possessed a phenomenal chemistry and were one of the most interesting pairs to watch interact on stage. Equally as notable was Meave Wilhoit, as Yente, the matchmaker. Consistent throughout the entire production with both characterization and physicality, Wilhoit kept the audience laughing.
Although "Tradition" says I need a "Matchmaker" to find a match, I don't need to a matchmaker to know that "The Fiddler on the Roof" at Osbourn High School is my match.