The staying power of 'Fiddler on the Roof'; cast member Mary Stout a Germano's Cabaret
The best musicals don't age much. The plots still hold up, the songs still catch the ear. I'd argue that "The Fiddler on the Roof" is such a case.
It's currently at the Hippodrome in a touring production featuring Topol, the actor who has held claim to the role of Tevye for decades (his name is printed in larger type than the title of the show).
All in all, as I pointed out in my review, I found Topol's performance persuasive, even if he's ever so slightly, um, old for the role.
The whole production is spirited and well-oiled. The dancing has flair (including the famous bottle-on-hat routine from the original Jerome Robbins choreography); the music is treated with sufficient freshness (the reduced instrumentation provides a folksy, almost klezmer-y sound); and the supporting cast contains several strong performances. This is not a run-of-the-mill, overly economical road show.
One of the most amusing and rather endearing contributions comes from
Mary Stout, who offers a vibrant portrayal of compulsive matchmaker Yente. She's a veteran of Broadway whose credits include "Beauty and the Beast" and "My Favorite Year." In our area, she has been featured in such shows as "The Happy End" at Center Stage and "Mame" (portraying Mother Burnside) at the Kennedy Center.
On Monday, when she could be enjoying a quiet day off from "Fiddler," Stout will perform her own cabaret show of comic and standard songs at Germano's. Proceeds will benefit Broadway Cares: Equity Fights Aids.
PHOTO OF MARY STOUT COURTSY OF GERMANO'S