Fidler Afn Dakh, A Baser's Reflection
by Avram / MNHTN
By Nicholas Natoli
Nothing says tradition quite like ‘The Fiddler on the Roof.’ I know I have wonderful memories of camp sing alongs, watching the film on the sofa wrapped in a blanket, my middle school’s production, and the fantastic broadway revival in recent years. The Base community enjoyed perhaps one of the most authentic interpretations of this beloved musical at the Museum of Jewish Heritage Sunday August 5th produced by The National Yiddish Theatre - Folksbiene.
Tears, joy and laughter abound the audience members as the actors told the story of Reb Tevye and his journey into the new world. Filled with plot twists and turns and translated into Yiddish, we ventured into the classic tale with a beautiful piece of history told using the hybrid language. It felt so effortless hearing the talented cast play out roles of characters and then relatable dialogues we all love so much in what would have been their native tongue. The brilliant music was conducted on stage with a full pit to accompany the cast of brilliant vocalists renewing the life of songs I’ve personally grown to love so much. The set was simple and minimalist to match the intimacy of theatre which boded so well with the concentration one would want to experience this magical piece of theatre. The intricate costumes and jubilant dancing set the tone for every one to feel like they were kvelling in the old country.
The magic did not stop at curtain call as we were so privileged to walk down the street with select cast members and the esteemed Mr. Zalmen Mlotek to toast with some French fries and a pitcher of beer a wonderful show with incredible spirit.
I was not quite prepared to be so amazed. There was truly magic happening if you were looking for it and I wish I could take in this experience again and again. If you have the opportunity to share in this monumental engagement I would truly consider you lucky. To a wonderful stage production (and the deep hope that there will be a cast recording made available) L’Chaim!
I came to Base with a desire to volunteer and give back to the Manhattan communities in need. One Tuesday service cooking feeding the homeless one evening, late summer led to months invested growing with Base Manhattan/Brooklyn and filled with song, study and sustenance! A year later I find myself visiting Base multiple times a week and enjoying new meaningful experiences with each trip. I’ve expanded myself spiritually while extending my ties to people with whom I think of as Family. I truly encourage anyone with a desire to build community and learn in a welcoming environment to join the ranks at Base. It was the best decision I’ve made in a long time and I love seeing new faces who feel the same.
Nicholas Natoli is a frequent Baser at MNHTN and a noted dancer and designer.