Lisa Schwarzbaum
February 07, 2005 AT 05:00 AM EST

Fiddler on the Roof

type
Stage
Current Status
In Season
run date
02/26/04
performer
Harvey Fierstein, Alfred Molina
director
David Leveaux
author
Joseph Stein

We gave it an A-

Harvey Fierstein taking over from Alfred Molina as Tevye? Sounds crazy, no? Only in New York could a theater creature and gay activist like Fierstein cross the street from cross-dressing in Hairspray to milk-cart pulling in one of Broadway’s most tradition-bound musical heartstring-pluckers. And by the sheer ebullience of his outsize, cosmopolitan persona (this Tevye is poor but hardly unsophisticated), as well as by the sound-the-shofar bleat of his famous voice, Fierstein succeeds in making a very mesmerizing manner of milkman. David Leveaux’s revival of Fiddler on the Roof retains its autumnal tone and Marc Chagall sense of composition. But with Fierstein wishing he were a rich man and ruling over a roost of daughters, everything old is startlingly new in Anatevka.

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