Beloved rooftop fiddler breaks tradition at Bass Concert Hall
There are stories that never get stale, including those about parents and kids who disagree. violin on the roof, the story of a poor milkman raising five daughters in pre-revolutionary Russia in 1905, has been an audience favorite since his Broadway debut in 1964, eventually winning a Tony Award for Best Musical the following year. The film adaptation won multiple Oscars and the Golden Globe for Best Picture – Musical or Comedy in 1972. Now, Tevye’s essays will once again be told to fans in Austin at Bass Concert Hall from April 2-7.
In Fiddler, a father’s wish for his daughters to marry well (and within the Jewish faith) is challenged when they choose their mates out of love instead. With iconic songs such as “Matchmaker, Matchmaker”, “Sunrise Sunset” and “Tradition”, the show leaves the audience dancing the aisles and humming.
âThe songs are so iconic. Even if you think you don’t know violin on the roof, you probably know at least a handful of songs. If you know âRich Girlâ by Gwen Stefani, then you know âIf I Were a Rich Man,â says Michael Uselmann, music director and conductor of the national tour.
Uselmann, who is responsible for maintaining the musical integrity of the show and leading the 10-piece orchestra every night, says he was in love with musical theater from an early age and discovered a talent for orchestrating and arranging music in high school.
He admits this version of Fiddler might surprise some audiences. âIt’s got everything they know and love, but it’s less the typical sound of a large Broadway orchestra and more of a rowdy band you might have heard at a wedding in Russia in the early years. 1900. So that’s exciting, “he says.” The way our show is run is in a style of realism that is sometimes not used with an older musical. “
He says the opening number “Tradition” is his favorite musical moment in the show. âAfter a minute, the whole orchestra joins in, and there’s a fantastic choreography to go with it. It’s an amazing opening number. It’s exhilarating.
As for the story, Fiddler may be based around the turn of the 20th century, but the theme of children breaking tradition against their parents’ will is timeless. âWhether it’s 1905 or 2019, it’s a story that will always be relevant today,â says Uselmann. “Cultures all over the world identify with it, and everyone can see a version of themselves in characters and situations.”
You can experience this revival of the beloved classic at the Bass Concert Hall from April 2-7.