CHICAGO — WGN’s Dean Richards says he’s seen dozens of productions of “Fiddler on the Roof” going back to high school, community theaters and various touring shows that have come and gone from the city.
But none of them even come close to the majesty of the newest production that just opened at the Lyric Opera.
Once a year, the Lyric Opera puts its usual array of classics on hold in order to stage a good old fashioned American musical.
This year, they’ve out done themselves with “Fiddler on the Roof” that literally bursts onto the stage with its nearly 100-person cast of actors, dancers and chorus members that hold nothing back in staying true to the tradition of the story while throwing a few news twists in.
Here you are transported into the world of Tevye, the milkman who with his wife, Golde are raising their daughters in a small Jewish village in Russia as the world is changing and long-standing traditions are being challenged.
The stage version that debuted in 1964 became the model for nearly every “Fiddler” that followed — until this new tale of family, love and tradition came along, finding explosively new ways to tell its story.
The staging is simple but creatively takes your hand into this family’s history and then, with stunningly beautiful performances on every level sings the familiar songs and re-invents some of its signature dance numbers.
You will not see a bigger, more ambitious, all-inclusive production of any show as is presented on the Lyric Opera’s massive stage.
Other producers and directors should take note: This is how shows should be done.
It is a must-see, Dean’s List A+ that will be in town until Oct. 7. For more information visit lyricopera.org.