The Fabulous Fox hosts Fiddler on the Roof for a week as it passes through Atlanta. The acclaimed show has a strong cast and a great venue. On the corner of Peachtree and Ponce, the Fox adds just a little more timelessness and magic to the show.
Tom Alan Robbins wonderfully plays Tevye with a great supporting cast. With only a few opening night glitches, the show is off to a strong standing ovation start, due in part to Dave FM’s Jimmy Baron’s cameo as Russian Number Two.
With subject matter about the war between Tradition, with a capital T, and contemporary fashion, the backdrops were oddly cubist. They popped out from the background and clashed with the main sets, which were richly detailed and luscious to look at.
Without a doubt, the backdrops were distracting and did not match the rest of the production. Given that this is a musical after all, the cartoonish effect may have been intended; however, it was very distracting.
At the Fox, the sound system is provided by the touring production, which became obvious when the sound came in and out during the show.
Being the first night of the show in Atlanta, the technical difficulties of performing in such an old venue may not have been fully figured out yet. Hopefully, these opening night hiccups can be smoothed out quickly because the singing and one-liners are a great part of the show no one should miss.
All of the actors were fantastic. Especially charismatic is the lead, Tom Alan Robbins, who is a Broadway veteran with all kinds of experience at his disposal. He originated the role of Pumbaa in The Lion King and was in the original cast of Once Upon a Mattress with Carol Burnett.
Robbins’ performance was charming and conflicted between the love of his daughters and his faith. His torment moved the audience into spontaneous applause several times.
While the backdrops are kind of weird and confusing, the rest of the production was great. The lead actor was fantastic and the rest of the cast shined. The Russian dancing was only matched by the Jewish dancing.
The cast was absolutely amazing and the popular songs were all here, including “Matchmaker, Matchmaker” and “If I Were a Rich Man.” Even with a few aural misfires, the show succeeded for over two hours. You can’t go wrong with a timeless production in a timeless theater.