Saturday, April 23, 2011

Little Boy to Big Fiddler (Part 3)

(Continued from April 16, 2011) …… To help Brady prepare for the role, mom, dad, and Brady traveled about 6 hours one way to see a professional theatrical production of “Fiddler on the Roof”. In that 2-3 hour moment in time, it all came together for Brady. He noticed how the professional actor took command of the stage and how he made the play his own. Brady did not see a young man on stage playing an old guy. He believed that he actually saw Tevye. With that knowledge and additional coaching from home, Brady set out to become Tevye, not just a high school junior acting in the role. He became immersed in the script; practiced with the CD; and watched the movie of “Fiddler” many times to help him to prepare for the role.

Although the rehearsals were closed to parents, Brady would give a day-to-day rundown of the rehearsals. At one point, Brady came home and announced that he believed that he had finally become Tevye. He had gotten to the point to where he believed that he was actually thinking like Tevye and not Brady trying to be Tevye.

Wow, this was all new to the dad, but he was excited and encouraged that Brady was pleased with his rehearsals. In the days leading up to the opening night performance, the dad did not fully know what to expect. Quite honestly, the dad would have been pleased to see Brady get through this major role with not forgetting his lines or not hitting wrong notes while singing. In reality, the dad had no clue as to what to expect with Brady’s portrayal of Tevye.

Well, opening night finally came, and the mom and dad got there early to get front row seats. The show began with Brady/Tevye coming to give the opening speech of the play, which led to the full cast coming out to sing and dance “Tradition”. Through the opening moments, the dad could not see much of Brady on stage. Rather, he saw Tevye. Wow, what a great opening sequence of events for the dad to watch.

But, then, the unthinkable happened. What happened next was not expected; not thought about in advance; and certainly no preparation had been made.

Tevye came back out to sing “If I were a Rich Man”, all in full character, with the gestures of an old man coupled with a sparkling Russian Jewish accent. Who was this kid playing Tevye???

Not too long into the song, the floodgates opened for the dad. The dad, always the rock of the family, absolutely broke down and began to shed tears at his son’s performance, as Brady was no longer Brady, he was an old Russian Jewish man named Tevye!!!

As the “Tevye” role is prominent in the “Fiddler”, Tevye spends much of the play on stage, narrating, leading the family and town, and singing.

The dad could not get his eyes to be dry. He was quite thankful for the darkness of the theater. He was quite thankful for the darkness of the theater, although he knew that intermission would be coming at some point! Intermission came and, of course, others in the area noticed the dad’s basket case appearance. The dad offered some sort of flimsy excuse about allergies, but everybody knew what was going on.

The dad looked at the mom and he was happy and surprised to see that she had been suffering from the same type of “allergies”!!

(Please come back next week for Part 4)

Paul W. Reeves

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