Theater Info for Maryland

Spotlighters Theatre Fiddler on the Roof

By • Jul 29th, 2013 • Category: Reviews
Fiddler on the Roof
Spotlighters Theatre: (Info) (Web)
Spotlighters Theatre, Baltimore, MD
Through August 9th
$20/$18 Seniors/$16 Military, Students
Reviewed July 26th, 2013

Spotlighters Theatre presents Fiddler on the Roof, rich with authenticity of culture and a strong collective voice. Set in the impermanence of 1905 Anatevka, Russia, audiences are invited into the kitchens and town squares of a tight-knit Jewish community where everyone knows everyone else’s business. The village patriarch, more so even than the Rabbi, is Tevye, a powerhouse who almost always melts away his tough grimace of upheld traditions to reveal nothing but love for his five daughters and spitfire wife, Golde. Framed by Yente, the well-intentioned albeit gossipy matchmaker, Lazar Wolfe, a snubbed butcher, and the romances of three very different young couples, Fiddler on the Roof serves as an allegory about the relationship man has with God, playful doses of sarcasm in one’s expression of love, and true appreciation for all the people who crowd under one roof and call themselves a family.

What is apparent about Spotlighters particular production of Fiddler is a genuine solidarity among the cast. The household anthem “Tradition” that opens the show makes excellent use of the space as each member of the Jewish family proclaims their role with pride in wonderfully blended and impactful vocals. Not only do they produce a strong sound, they’re believable. I believe the Rabbi’s son Mendel, I believe even the youngest of Tevye and Golde’s children. The biggest accomplishment of the whole show is the unscripted banter between lines that the characters share with each other, the carefully observed heritage nuances, and the camaraderie.

On an individual level, some featured roles shine more brightly than others. Mike Galizia’s Tevye is worn-in and cozy. The authoritative brassiness can’t conceal the more important softer side that develops nicely through soliloquies and chats with the Lord. Galizia’s singing voice is a true gift, though his movement seems a tad rusty. Bottom line, no finer man could shoulder this musical. Golde, crafted by Amy Bell, is played with a sense of duty built into her very muscle memory, as she is constantly seen walking with a purpose, dish rag in hand. She reacts earnestly and there is no doubt that she wears the pants, or that she loves her Tevye. I would like to mention Avram, played by Justin McMonagle, because his flustered mutterings and finely tuned character development did not go unnoticed. When it comes to the eldest daughters and their mates, the only relationship in which I could invest myself was the most controversial one between Chava (Julia Capizzi), and Fyedka (John Aquila). Aquila’s charm and stance on equality and Capizzi’s bright spirit worked very well. Some unfortunate stumbles befell Perchik (Lucas Blake), with a struggle to reach notes and a sense of discomfort in his face that broke the fourth wall, as it were, and revealed his true identity as a player in a scene, and not a traveling scholar in love. The ever-happy Motel (Vince Vuono) also confounded me, with a lack of spark for his beloved Tzeitel and verbatim line delivery.

There were some discrepancies between the pit and the actors as several cues were missed and choreographic beats were out of sync.

Spotlighters has created an experience for its patrons. For the most part, I did feel like I was in Anatevka, privy to all the whisperings and Sabbath prayers. Fiddler on the Roof made me learn and that is what theatre is supposed to do.


  • Tevye: Mike Galizia
  • Golde: Amy Bell
  • Tzeitel: Emily Biondi
  • Hodel: Alexa Canelos
  • Chava: Julia Capizzi
  • Shprintze: Lillian Blank
  • Bielke: Isa Guitian
  • Yente: Suzanna Young
  • Motel: Vince Vuono
  • Perchik: Lucas Blake
  • Lazar Wolfe: Larry Levinson
  • Rabbi: Bon Ahrens
  • Mordcha/Innkeeper: Jose Reyes Teneza
  • Mendel: Matthew Feldman
  • Avram: Justin McMonagle
  • Nachum/Beggar: Peggy Friedman
  • Villager/Grandma Tzeitel: Barbara Pinker
  • Villager/Fruma: Sarah: Evangeline Ridgaway
  • Constable: Mike Throne
  • Fyedka: John Aquila
  • Villager/Shaindel: Lisa Sharpe
  • Fiddler: Sebastian Stefanovic
  • Villager/Sasha/Russian Dancer: Alex Shade
  • Villager/Russian Dancer: Jamil Johnson
  • Villager: Isa Guitian

Creative Team

  • Director: Jillian Bauersfeld
  • Musical Director: Michael Tan
  • Choreographer: Jillian Bauersfeld
  • Stage Manager: Molly Hopkins
  • Set Design: Alan Zemla
  • Lighting Design: Fuzz Roark
  • Set Construction: Fuzz Roark and Alan Zemla
  • Scenic Art/Props: Alan Zemla. Laura Nicholson, and Fuzz Roark
  • Costume Design: Laura Nicholson
  • Dramaturg: Sandra Hittman
  • Dance Captains: Matthew Feldman and Lisa Sharpe
  • Booth Technicians: Samia Cornelius and Scott Griffith

Pit Musicians

  • Pit Director/Keyboard: Michael Tan
  • Violin: Sebastian Stefanovic
  • Bass: Greg Bell
  • Clarinette, Flute: Melissa Chalmers
  • Clarinette, Flute: Larry Brown

Disclaimer: Spotlighters Theatre provided two complimentary media tickets to ShowBizRadio for this review.

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holds a BA degree in Creative Writing from Susquehanna University. She enjoyed a stage debut at age four as a ballerina in the Lullaby League in The Wizard of Oz, and has loved performing ever since. She had the privilege of accepting an invitation to a Broadway Cares event at the White House hosted by the Obamas in 2010, where she met not only the President, but Stephen Schwartz, Marvin Hamlisch, Audra McDonald, Idina Menzel, Nathan Lane and others. She is also a devoted nanny to four crazy adorable girls.