A THOUSAND WORDS - Alex Waterhouse-Hayward's blog on pictures, plants, politics and whatever else is on his mind.




 

Fiddler On The Roof In New Westminster & Peach Yoghurt In Buenos Aires
Monday, April 11, 2016


Dallas Murray Richards, 97, Lauren Elizabeth Stewart, 12, April 11, 2015


Royal City Musical Theatre’s production of Joseph Stein (Book) Jerry Bock (Music),Sheldon Harnick Lyrics originally produced on the NY Stage directed and choreographed by Jerome Robbins of Fiddler on the Roof was a bittersweet experience for my granddaughter Lauren (13) and I.

Before the musical started I indicated to Lauren that we should get up from our very good seats up front and go back a few to greet Muriel Richards who was sitting a few rows behind us. Lauren understood as it was in last years’production of My Fair Lady (by the Royal City Musical Theatre) that we sat next to Muriel and Dal Richards. Since I had photographed Richards many times he was especially pleasant to Lauren and promised her he would give her tips on how to play her school instrument of choice, the clarinet. This was not to be as Dal Richards died last year.



In spite of our feeling blue we enjoyed ourselves immensely and I must add that rarely do you have a director who happens to also do the choreography. This is the case of Valerie Easton whom I knew in the late 70s as a CBC jazz dancer who appeared in many variety shows.

During the whole show it was difficult not to note the choreography which was tops.
And here I must interject with what to me in which I admit (and not embarrassed in the least) that is an admission that RCMT’s Fiddler on the Roof was the first ever for me. I knew the tunes but had no idea of the plot or anything else. Lauren promised to keep her mouth zipped as she had recently seen a very good production of the musical at Eric Hamber Secondary. I asked her why them musical was called Fiddler on the Roof and she answered that there was a most slim connection.

Now for this sort of thing I have always been late. It was only when I was 21 that I tried yoghurt (peach flavoured) in my Buenos Aires. Until then I thought it was rotten milk.

As a Latin American I could never understand the North American concept of actors suddenly beginning to sing in what is called the musical. Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly and many musicals that I have subsequently attended at the Arts Club Theatre Company have helped to make me open to this strange mix of song, dance and acting.


The singers/actors/dancers were all superb as was the lead Warren Kimmel. The sets were sumptuous and kept moving around and showing facets of all their sides.

Watching Fiddler on the Roof I can understand why RCMT specializes in one production per year at the Massey Theatre in New Westminster. With the exception of the Queen Elizabeth Theatre and perhaps the Vancouver Playhouse no large musical production like this one could fly. And consider, furthermore that there was a musical ensemble of 19 souls which did include an accordion!

This sort of thing is now really unique to the RCMT's intimate liaison with the Massey Theatre.
But, there is one little wrinkle on all this. Every time we drive on Marine Way we never find that famous 6th Avenue Exit. I can now report that it does not exist going or coming unless you are going to navigate the Queensborough Bridge. Lauren patiently watched me avoid getting lost getting back although we returned via Richmond.

All in all it was a beautiful evening in which I shared moments with my granddaughter that she will one day re-tell to her children.

I am about to leave on a two-week trip to my hometown of Buenos Aires so I have been thinking about Argentina a lot. It has suddenly struck me why in Argentina the euphemism for Jewish people is Ruso! Fiddler on the Roof has further added to my education.

Fiddler on the Roof runs until April 23d.




     

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8/7/16 - 8/14/16

8/14/16 - 8/21/16

8/21/16 - 8/28/16

8/28/16 - 9/4/16

9/4/16 - 9/11/16

9/11/16 - 9/18/16

9/18/16 - 9/25/16

9/25/16 - 10/2/16

10/2/16 - 10/9/16

10/9/16 - 10/16/16

10/16/16 - 10/23/16

10/23/16 - 10/30/16

10/30/16 - 11/6/16

11/6/16 - 11/13/16

11/13/16 - 11/20/16

11/20/16 - 11/27/16

11/27/16 - 12/4/16

12/4/16 - 12/11/16