Fiddler on the Roof – A Review

Thanks to my membership in the Tampa Bay Bloggers and their partnership with the Straz Center, I received complimentary tickets for the purposes of review to “Fiddler on the Roof”. This has not impacted my review and all opinions below are my own. This post may contain affiliate links. Thank you for your support!

Fiddler On The Roof Cast
Image courtesy of Straz

I’ve had a bucket list of shows I’ve wanted to see on Broadway, or even on tour, for years. Fiddler on the Roof was certainly one of them. So, when I learned that I had the chance to watch it, I couldn’t wait. I had a yummy burger at the cafe on the water at Straz, and then settled into my seat honestly not knowing what to expect. All I really knew is that everyone I knew that had seen it said it was amazing.

In fact, one of the women in line with me, as I ordered my burger, said it would be her fifth time watching the show that night. WOW! Before we dive into my thoughts, here’s what Straz posted about Fiddler:

Fiddler on the Roof – What Straz Said About It

Audiences across North America are toasting a new production of FIDDLER ON THE ROOF!

Rich with musical hits you know and love, including “Tradition,” “Sunrise, Sunset,” “If I Were a Rich Man,” “Matchmaker, Matchmaker” and “To Life (L’Chaim!),” FIDDLER ON THE ROOF is the heartwarming story of fathers and daughters, husbands and wives, and life, love and laughter.

Tony®-winning director Bartlett Sher and the team behind South Pacific, The King and I and 2017 Tony-winning Best Play Oslo, bring a fresh and authentic vision to this beloved theatrical masterpiece from Tony winner Joseph Stein and Pulitzer Prize winners Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick. Featuring a talented cast, lavish orchestra and stunning movement and dance from Israeli choreographer Hofesh Shechter, based on the original staging by Jerome Robbins, FIDDLER ON THE ROOF will introduce a new generation to the uplifting celebration that raises its cup to joy!

To love! To life!

Fiddler on the Roof – My Review – (Warning! Spoilers ahead!)

The thing that struck me the most in watching the play, was how many of the songs were familiar and yet I never knew why. For example, Matchmaker –

Matchmaker, Matchmaker,
Make me a match,
Find me a find,
catch me a catch
Matchmaker, Matchmaker
Look through your book,
And make me a perfect match (Lyrics source)

Growing up, I’d heard this song a few times. I didn’t know where it was from. Or this one –

Is this the little girl I carried?
Is this the little boy at play?

Sunrise, sunset
Sunrise, sunset
Swiftly flow the days (Lyrics source)

And finally, one that I knew the tune, but didn’t know the original words…

If I were a rich man,
Yubby dibby dibby dibby dibby dibby dibby dum.
All day long I’d biddy biddy bum.
If I were a wealthy man.
I wouldn’t have to work hard.
Ya ha deedle deedle, bubba bubba deedle deedle dum.
If I were a biddy biddy rich,
Idle-diddle-daidle-daidle man. (Lyrics source)

Admittedly, the reason I knew the tune for this song is because of Gwen Stefani’s “If I Was A Rich Girl

Fiddler on the Roof - Gwen Stefani Rich Girl
Image source, and where to buy the song

Sure, the song is not the same, but the tune is very similar, and hearing the origin of this bop was certainly entertaining to me. Have you ever wondered where songs come from? I certainly have, and it often fascinates me to learn the inspiration for some of my generation’s biggest hits.

I can honestly say, my favorite thing about the entire play was the music. I loved the songs more than anything. I am obsessed with music, and truly feel that it can make or break a play, or movie. Just me?

I also could genuinely feel the feelings the people playing these characters were exuding. You could feel the nerves of the father, Tevye, when he decided to let his two oldest daughters marry for love instead of money. You could feel the pain as he cast aside his third oldest for marrying outside of his faith. You could even feel his anger when things seemed to be going awry and the God he was praying to was not granting him a reprieve.

Read the full synopsis of the Fiddler on the Roof here.

If nothing else, this play will make you grateful for everything you have. It will also make you appreciate your family, and the freedoms that you have. Dare I say it might even give you some insight to win family members don’t understand children making untraditional choices.

Fiddler On The Roof Daughters
Image courtesy of Straz

Overall, I felt the play was acted out very well, and the music was phenomenal. Though the storyline itself absolutely broke my heart into a million pieces, I think that was the point. You were supposed to feel upset at these people living poor lives, and ultimately being removed from their homes at the end. After all, change can’t happen unless people feel something is wrong. And you sometimes have to put it right in their face to let them see the truth.

I’m grateful for the fact I can say I’ve finally seen Fiddler on the Roof, and can cross that one off my musical bucket list. Luckily, the list is growing so I still have plenty more shows I can’t wait to see. I’ll have to share a post soon of all the shows I still want to see. The one on the top of my mind right now is coming to Straz next month – Aladdin. Dying to see that one y’all!

Until next time, I just want to say thanks for reading. I’m the luckiest girl in the world that I get to do what I love for a living. And, may we all continue to enjoy our lives, and the freedom to make things better if we want to.

Fiddler on the Roof is playing at The Straz Center now through November 10, 2019. To see all the shows playing at the Straz, click HERE!