Anatevka at Komische Oper, Berlin

Better known as Fiddler on the Roof

By: - Feb 17, 2024

Anatevka at Komische Oper, Berlin ~~
Music by Jerry Bock, Lyrics by Joseph Stein and Sheldon Harnick
Most people know the story of Tevye, the milkman, as Fiddler on the Roof. What started in the1960's as a sensational Broadway musical by Jerome Robbins, has kept all of its allure. Anatevka, here named after the location of the action, is still the wonderful same. The production of the Komische Oper at its temporary location at the Schiller Theater, Berlin was totally sold out and received long lasting applause.
Rightfully so since Barry Kosky, as director, was able to avoid a sentimental rendering but excelled in keeping a warm human touch. Turbulent and lively is the action, the large choir under OttoPichler adds more motion to the already fast-passed happenings underscored by Jerry Bock's 'folksy' music. This musical has long passages of speech tending towards being a play.
Life for the poor Jewish population in the isolated little sthetle, Anatevka, is focused on the milkman Tevye (Max Hopp), his wife Golde (Dagmar Manzel) and their five daughters. But tradition, as Tevye claims will uphold their lives, is being rattled. Against his will the oldest daughter marries the poor tailor Mottel (IvanTurši), his second daughter Hodel (Alma Sadé) runs away to Siberia with the intellectual Perchick (Nicky Wuchinger), and he and his wife and the rest of the family, together with the entire village, have to leave Anatevka to avoid a progrom.
Rufus Didwiscuzs and Jan Freese have created two impressive stage settings in a time capsule around 1900. In the first setting, cabinets are piled up high on a revolving stage where all the actions take place. People enter and exit through its doors. It is a reflection of a seemingly happy and orderly village life in the early 1900, with Zeitel and Mottel's weddding taking center stage.
In the second setting, a lonely snow-scape, the exodus of everybody leaving for an unknowable future underscores the hard reality of tradition being lost bit by bit.
The audience was exhuberant. Applause did not want to end. The musical Anatevka, based on famed Jiddish author Sholem Alejchem's stories from a long lost lifestyle, is still charming the public – a fairy tale for better and for worse.