PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

July 26, 2013

Give yourself a treat; go see ‘Fiddler’

Cheryl Underhill
The Port Arthur News

PORT ARTHUR — My sister and I decided to go see "Fiddler on the Roof" this past Sunday, July 21, for the 2:30 p.m. matinee thinking there might be less of a crowd at that time. Well, boy was I wrong! Word must have gotten out about how excellent of a production this is.

By the time I got there (about 15 minutes before show time), the parking lot was almost full. When my sister and I got inside the theatre to sit down, it was full, except for an empty seat here and there. We ended up sitting in one of the seats in the few back rows, which was still great viewing and listening because of how well the Lamar Theater is designed.

This was my first time to go to any production at the Lamar Theater.  I could tell, after only a few seconds when the orchestra started up and the silhouetted fiddler started playing atop Tevye's house, this was going to be something special!  My sister and I immediately were enamored with the ensemble of talented singing actors in their period costumes accompanied by their equally talented orchestra.

I was further surprised to find out that two of my fellow Lamar University thespians were the husband and wife leads in the production. It was beautifully evident that playing Tevye and Golde was a natural extension of the love they have in real life.

Everyone — and I mean everyone — appeared to have given it their all, from the oldest flying spirits from Tevye's "Dream" down to a young villager's son (a 6-year-old actor). From the director, assistants, prop and stage help, lobby folks, costume designers, makeup artists, orchestra and actors, all seemed passionately committed to giving us the Best show they could! And that, they did! From Chicago, to Denver to Houston, where I have seen major productions, they have nothing on us!

We have every reason to be proud of what was put on by our own Port Arthur Little Theatre and Lamar State College-Port Arthur. We heard vocalists of the finest quality and saw acting of the most professional kind! And oh, what creative, energetic and engaging choreography! You especially don't want to miss the "Matchmaker" broom/singing scene and the Bottle Dancers!

Few things in life stand the test of time with such a compelling message about family, friends, faith and of course "tradition." However, the Port Arthur Little Theatre and Lamar State College-Port Arthur production of "Fiddler on the Roof" captivatingly, does just that.

So, pull yourself and family away from your iPads, mobile phones and other "instant" devices and treat yourselves to the musical mesmerizing memorable experience of this superbly directed production. Special "kudos" to Keith Cockrell and his dedicated staff!

And you ask, "What was my favorite scene?" "The flying spirits, of course!" What will be your favorite scene?

Enjoyably submitted by: Cheryl A. Underhill