By Bill Hirschman, FloridaTheaterOnStage.com, Special to EyesOnNews.com, Dec 11, 2014 – Director Marcia Milgrom Dodge and the Maltz Jupiter Theatre pulled off a minor miracle a couple of seasons ago when they triumphantly deconstructed, reinterpreted and rebuilt Hello, Dolly!without a visible shred of Gower Champion’s vision or Carol Channing’s outsized persona.
They’ve tried it once again with a 50th anniversary production of the indestructible Fiddler on the Roof, getting permission to jettison most of Jerry Robbins’ unforgettable choreography and iconic staging.
This time they haven’t been quite as unassailably successful, but the overall evening grows on you as it swells into a moving second act, in part because the music, lyrics and script are so strong that it cannot possibly fail when executed by such a first-rate cast and creative team.
The problem is the Robbins’ vision (seen by millions of people in New York and on the road and used as the template for most revivals) is, indeed, iconic – indelibly so. So it’s very hard, in fact it takes much of the first act, for anyone who has seen it before to appreciate what Dodge and company are doing on their own merits.