The Sound of Fiddles

by MW Cook

I heard that Chaim Topol was playing Tevye in A Fiddler on the Roof at Canon Theatre in Toronto. So, naturally, I bought tickets immediately. And, aside from the balloon-busting fact that Topol had taken ill and would be replaced by Harvey Fierstein (that raspy guy from Mulan, ID4 and Mrs. Doubtfire), it was really good.

Harvey brought a side of Tevye to life that I hadn’t seen before. I appreciated it, even though the poor guy couldn’t sing. Tevye suddenly seemed wittier.

But the music. Wow, the music! The whole key to this play is the music. It was incredible. I could listen to that soundtrack again and again.

But who makes the music? Not the flashy actors on the stage, primarily. Oh, they lend their amazing voices, of course. But the music is not really theirs. They add to it. But they are not the substance.

The substance is hiding beneath the stage in their dimly-lit cave. The orchestra. Those mysterious magic workers who seem to shun the spotlight.

It made me think about how much of the great things in life are really brought to us through people and means that are not showy. The best movies come from great staff, not famous actors. The greatest cars are not made by the models who promote them, but by the hard-working builders. The great and mighty Big Mac is not put together by Ronald McDonald, but by the tireless burger-flippers.

Yay for the people behind the scenes. We need you.

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