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Thursday, August 23, 2012

Fiddler on the Roof

Last Sunday Irene and I went to a dinner theater.  It was a late anniversary celebration (March - 31 years).  We went to the Candlelight Dinner Playhouse near Johnson's Corner near Loveland, Colorado.  (I have only been to a few theater plays, and even fewer dinner theaters, so bear with my review!)

First a review.
The food was better than last year.  We both had the cabbage rolls this year.  We had to wait nearly an hour for the food and it arrived ten minutes before the play started.  I give the food a B, the service a B+/A-.  The cost of the ticket does not include dessert or drinks.  You may also upgrade the entree for an additional cost.  The background music level was not loud, which I appreciated.

The play itself was well acted.  The play was not abbreviated - we got home around 5:30; the play started at 2:00.  The singers did well, the props were not lavish, but they supported the theme of the play and were easily moved.  I give the play an A.

I love the Lord of the Rings, but I think that in many ways Fiddler on the Roof hits me even closer.  FotR has within it so much of the human condition.  In it we find joy, sorrow, loss, aging, prejudice, persecution, doubt, faith, testing and much more.  We see how God works in people's lives (those who made it to America were saved the Holocaust, but those who settled in Poland were not) and how decisions affect people for generations and in places far away.

I was struck in the play by a new thought.  The Bible was so much a part of the people's daily lives that they saw themselves as a continuation of the stories of the Bible.  The tailor sang of the heroes of the Old Testament and used them as an inspiration for himself.  Do modern Jews and Christians see themselves in that light?

But perhaps my favorite part is that Tevye talks to God.  He actually believes that God cares about him and will respond.  His theology isn't always great, and his knowledge of the "good book" isn't great either, but he knows God in a way that many with more learning do not.

The saddest part is when Tevye turns away his daughter Chava because she has married outside of the faith.  How far will you bend for your faith?  For your family?  Which do you value more?  I always cry at that part of the movie/play.  My children are now the age when they could make decisions to live away from their faith or marry outside of it.  How will I react?  What will I do?

What would you do?  Where do your ultimate loyalties lie?

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