So we all got dressed up and went to see FIDDLER ON THE ROOF at Arena Stage on Thursday evening, our last theater-going expedition of the semester. What did we make of it?
Almost everyone seeing this classic show (celebrating its 50th anniversary) for the first time; many unfamiliar with the show’s iconic songs, one after another they roll out, stupendously, in one of the most amazing first act collection of songs in Broadway history (how’s that for stating the obvious?)… What did we make of book-ending the semester with two musicals——YENTL and FIDDLER——that tell us something about the dynamics of community; of classic story telling (both shows adapted from classic stories by legendary Jewish authors IB Singer and Sholom Aleichem, respectively); plays about marriage, tradition, modernity, and exile. What to make of the portraits we’ve seen on DC stages of the Jewish experience, from FIDDLER, to YENTL, to AWAKE AND SING, to BAD JEWS? That’s quite a trajectory! Who wants to make some meaning of it?
I open the blog up to these wonderful students who’ve invested so much of themselves in these comments these past 3 months. Perhaps there’ll be one more posting opportunity to reflect on the larger picture — Theater at the cross-roads — Theater approaching the end of a calendar year — Theater aspiring to climb new heights and to remain relevant… Yes, we’ll give ourselves another opportunity to reflect more deeply on the art form and our institutions approaching a new year… For now, we look back and look at the production of a piece of heritage brought lovingly back to us for our entertainment and enlightenment… FIDDLER lives! Let’s appreciate what it still can do so masterfully.
Theater J announces its 2014-2015 season of Epic Expressions, an ambitious line-up of socially relevant drama and cultural celebration. Featuring a broad canvass collection of big plays, big casts and big ideas, the season will offer six life-changing journeys intertwining the political, the personal, the poignant and the provocative.
With a blend of searing drama, acid hilarity and unshakeable passion, Theater J takes on feminist aspirations within a traditional religious community, interracial adoption, and the ethics of assisted suicide in the wake of political despair, alongside timeless questions of love, envy, and spiritual longing.
Performing in the Aaron and Cecile Goldman Theater
1529 Sixteenth Street NW
Washington, DC 20036
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