By Brittany Hanson/Garden Grove Journal
Why should I tell you about what the good book says; you already know. In this case, the good book is the book by Joseph Stein called, “Fiddler on the Roof.”
The little town of Anatevka has moved from the Russian countryside to the stage at The Gem Theatre on Main Street in Garden Grove.
Directed by Damien Lorton and produced by Nicole Cassesso, of One More Productions, this show packs a lot of tradition on to a small local stage.
The story goes that Tevye, played by Robert Edward, who is a poor Jewish dairyman with five daughters, must face the changes to his life that the new century brings. Jewish traditions, started so long ago that many do not know why they are done are being challenged.
The matchmaker, Yente, played by Lynn Reinert, is responsible for pairing up single people in the village. Why was she given this job, no one knows why.
Tevye’s older daughters, Tzeitel, played by Marisa Baeza, Chava, played by Monika Pena, and Hodel, played by Allie Mgrublian, are all of a marrying age. Although tradition dictates that the matchmaker and the father are responsible for arranging weddings, Tevye soon finds his role circumvented.
His daughters start deciding to determine their own futures, with a tailor, a revolutionary and (gasp) a Russian who is outside the faith.
Edward is a returning face to this Garden Grove local theater and has done an outstanding job taking the lead in this production.
The part of Tevye is all about the delivery, the voice and the humor.
Edward brings all of this to the stage as the narrator main character of the show and adds just the right amount of inflection and facial expression to make Tevye his own.
Tevye’s wife Golde is played by Monique Naffaa-Kirsch. Naffaa-Kirschadds has a strong voice as well as a lot of character to her part, with a loud voice and quick speech.
This a good contrast to Tevye, whose voice is a slower, more methodical rumble.
It’s like the good contrast says, those who go low look good next to those who go high.
The overall production of the show was good. The singing started off a little slow at first, but picked up quickly and stayed strong through the rest of the show.
“Fiddler on the Roof” will be playing until June 27 on Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and on Sunday at 3 p.m. Tickets are $20 for general admission. The Gem is located at 12852 Main St. in Garden Grove.