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December Hot Date: Fiddler on the Roof

Harvey Fierstein in Fiddler on the Roof (photo by Joan Marcus)

Harvey Fierstein in Fiddler on the Roof (photo by Joan Marcus)

OPENS DECEMBER 8 Broadway star Harvey Fierstein offers a stellar performance in the lead role of iconic Tony Award–winning musical Fiddler On The Roof. A philosophical Jewish milkman from the pre-Revolutionary Russian village of Anatevka, Fierstein’s Tevye opines about tradition versus new ways of life and how they conflict. This heartwarming production, with such poignant songs as “Matchmaker, Matchmaker,” “Sunrise, Sunset” and “If I Were a Rich Man,” depicts that time and place in history. Themes like the oppression of minorities ensure the story is as relevant now as ever. Canon Theatre, Tuesday to Saturday 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday 1:30 p.m., $60 to $225; call 416-872-1212 or click here to purchase tickets.

3 responses to “December Hot Date: Fiddler on the Roof

  1. Carrie says:

    I saw this production last night in Toronto and it was painful. I have seen Harvey in movies (loved him in Mrs. Doubtfire) but didn’t know his name. If I had made the connection that’s who it was that was replacing Topol I would have absolutely exchaged or tried to sell my tickets. If you love the movie adaptation of this story, do not bother to see Harvey as Tevye. It is the worst case of casting ever. You might as well cast Pee Wee Herman as Mufasa.

    I was never more excited to see a production as when I heard Topol was coming to Toronto in his signature role. I was terribly disappointed when he was injured, but I’ve seen many Mirvish productions and was confident it would still be a good show. I was so looking forward to hearing someone belt out “If I Were a Rich Man” and feeling those chills.

    Not only can Harvey Fierstein not sing a note, it’s like listening to nails on a blackboard. He butchered every song in the show (except the ones where the rest of the cast was singing over him…which were a blessing). Not only that, his delivery of classic lines was almost an afterthought, and his tempo was off. To see him raise his poor excuse for a voice in anger and frustration to the other characters was like watching a toddler with laryngitis have a tantrum.
    Even meek and mild Motel has no reason to fear Harvey’s flamboyant Tevye. In the attempt to make the role his own, he made a mockery of it. The actor playing Lazar has played Tevye before and would have been a much preferred choice over Harvey. The decision to cast a big name instead of a better match for Topol was a huge mistake.

    The rest of the cast was fine, but in my opinion still not the best I’ve seen. Granted, I am sure having to perform next to this man, knowing the audience was grating on every word he uttered, could not have been easy. Still, the pace felt rushed and I would have rather seen another scene dropped or shortened than feel like they’re rushing through the numbers. It was the only performance I’ve been to in Toronto where there was no standing ovation given.

    Save your money, sell your tickets or demand an exchange for them.

  2. Julia says:

    Harvey Fierstein was deplorable in the role. He literally does NOT sing and his speaking voice is like that of a chalk board. Casting him in a role as such is inexcusable.

  3. martino m says:

    it is always so hard when it comes to getting a new roof

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