Anyone who has spent time in Melbourne will know that it is well known for Theatre and the Arts and after living here for 6 years I finally had my opportunity to attend one of the most amazing venues for live theatre productions, the stately Princess Theatre.

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January in Melbourne is jam-packed full of things to do, from sporting events like the Australia Tennis Open to music festivals and the arts, and amidst all the summer time excitement I took myself off to the Princess Theatre on a Friday night to see “Fiddler on the Roof”.  Now even getting a decent ticket was a challenge in itself since Melbourne is well known as a musical theatre centre and tickets at the many theatres around town are snapped up very quickly, in fact I was very lucky as my ticket had me less that ten row from the front, perfectly positioned for watching this well known, award winning musical! In fact, “Fiddler on the Roof” won 11 Tony awards and is recognised as “One of the greatest musicals in history”. If you haven’t already known, musical is a play in which singing and dancing play an essential part, sometimes even including an orchestra playing under the stage like in the case of “Fiddler on the Roof”.

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Now the Princess Theatre is an amazing spectacle in itself,  like many of Melbourne’s most noble buildings, it was built during the Victorian Gold Rush era of the 1850’s and with strong ties to the motherland, the Princess Theatre was built with all the trimmings of the most regal theatres in London.  It’s even said to be haunted by the ghosts of a number of notable actors who performed on its stage – the ghost of actor Fredrick Federeici who died during a performance in 1888 has been observed on a number of occasions over the years!!!  The phantom of the opera right here in Melbourne!! Fortunately he didn’t appear tonight!  The Princess Theatre has a central location, just across the road from the impressive Parliament house and within 2 minutes walk from Parliament station or tram stop 0 on Bourke Street, makes it super convenient for me to get there from Melbourne Central. The beautiful Victorian architecture takes your breath away even before entering the theatre, beautifully lit up, and stepping into the marbled foyer and domed theatre I’m really starting to get excited! Having queued for my choc-top I’m ready for the show!

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The story of Fiddler on the Roof centres around a poor Jewish family living a traditional life in an impoverished part of Russia, the narrator is the father, Tevye, who reveals the challenges of finding the right partners for his five daughters in tough times.  The title – Fiddler on the Roof – is a metaphor of the delicate balance of maintaining Jewish traditions during the Russian revolution during the early 1900’s.  One of Australia’s most well-known actors and singer, Anthony Warlow, plays the part of Teyve, the father whose song in the first Act “If I Was a Rich Man” send the crowd into a rousing applause. He is an amazing actor and is definitely the soul of the show.

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  • Tevye and his wife confessing their love for each other after 25 years of marriage

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  • Tevye’s nightmare 

Not only did it enchant me with an interesting storyline, “Fiddler on the Roof” also gave me great insight into various aspects of Jewish culture through the music, the dances and especially the traditional wedding scene. That night I actually went to bed with those songs and dances playing nonstop in my mind!

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  • The wedding of Tevye’s first daughter

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  • Traditional Jewish dance during the wedding celebration

I had such an excellent Friday night filled with beautiful memories and cannot wait to immerse myself in another show. It is worthwhile to spend some extra money to go on such a show and earn yourself a completely divine experience, compared to watching a movie 😉

 

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