Theodore Bikel returns as Tevye

Critic's Choice: Theater

March 03, 2002|By J. Wynn Rousuck

Theodore Bikel first played Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof more than three decades ago in Las Vegas, of all places. "On the other hand," as Tevye is fond of saying, what better place to sing "If I Were a Rich Man"?

The Viennese-born performer has now portrayed the weary Russian-Jewish milkman in the Bock and Harnick musical more than 1,600 times, and he'll be at it again Tuesday when Fiddler opens a one-week run at the Mechanic Theatre. Baltimoreans last saw Bikel's Tevye in 1996.

Adapted by Joseph Stein from stories by Sholom Aleichem, the plot of Fiddler concerns Tevye's efforts to find suitable husbands for his five daughters. In the current touring production, one of his choices -- Lazar the butcher -- is played by Maryland actor John Preece. No stranger to Tevye himself, Preece played the lead role in a touring production at the Lyric Opera House in 1992.

The production coming here is directed and choreographed by another Fiddler veteran, Sammy Dallas Bayes, re-creating Jerome Robbins' original staging.

Show times at the Mechanic, 25 Hopkins Plaza, are 8 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday and 6:30 p.m. Sunday, with matinees at 2 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $22.50-$70. For more information, call 410-752-1200.

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