The Schmooze

Fiddler in the Rough, Part Three: One Step Forward, Two Mazurkas Back

Daniel F. Levin is a playwright, composer and lyricist living in Brooklyn. His newest play, “Hee-Haw: It’s a Wonderful Li_e,” was called a “delightful surprise” by the New York Times; his musical, “To Paint the Earth,” about resistance fighters in the Warsaw Ghetto, won the Richard Rogers Development Award. This is the third in a series of four posts about his summer directing “Fiddler on the Roof,” crossposted from Frontier Psychiatrist. Read the first and second posts here and here.

I had some all-star girls, too. There was Cynthia, the brave young actor playing Perchik, the male revolutionary. Wearing spectacles, a paper-boy cap, my pin-striped shirt, knickers, and carrying a book, she didn’t look as ridiculous as it may sound. In one speech, she spoke of a nearby pogrom in Rajanka. “Cynthia,” I said. “I think Perchik gets a little fired up when he talks about these nearby pogroms. I think he might show it in his body — maybe he balls his hand up into a fist,” and I demonstrated. From then on, Cynthia stormed around with her right hand in a fist for most of her scenes. Most impressively, when it was her time to propose to Hodel, she never once shied away from the courtship. She accepted that she was playing a boy, who was head over heels for Hodel. When she showed Hodel the dance that was being done in Kiev, the two galloped around the stage (I had given up on fancy choreography) to a Russian Mazurka and looked like they were having a blast.

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Fiddler in the Rough, Part Three: One Step Forward, Two Mazurkas Back

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