There are certain Broadway classics that, if staged sincerely, deliver time and again. Fiddler on the Roof is one of them. In the last four years on the area theater scene, Fiddler’s been presented by Moonlight Stage Productions (with North Coast Rep artistic director David Ellenstein playing Tevye) and by Lamb’s Players Theatre (with Sam Zeller in the lead role). Now Welk Resorts Theatre has gotten into the act. Its Fiddler stars a likable Rudy Martinez as Tevye, supported by Wendy Waddell, a familiar Welk face, as Golde. The only limitation on Welk’s production is the size of its stage, which appears crowded during the ensemble numbers – though this was an issue in the Lamb’s staging too. But Kathy Brombacher’s direction and Justin Gray’s musical direction are deft and faithful to the essence of this theater treasure: its messages of family, tradition and perseverance wrapped in timeless songs.
David L. Coddon is theater critic for San Diego CityBeat