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Unformatted text preview: Lonnie Trump 4/11/08 FS 102 From Sunrise to Sunset What is the true meaning of tradition? Some say that tradition means staying true to your roots and never straying from what has already been established. However, if we look closely, it becomes clear that tradition does not have to mean staying the same. It can also mean changing ones way of life to accommodate our constantly evolving society. The musical Fiddler on the Roof shows us that tradition does not have to be rigid as some would have us believe. While it is set in pre-revolutionary Russia and involves a cast of Jewish people, many of the values and traditions that are displayed in this musical still apply to our lives in the 21 st century. On March 30, 2008, the Pittsburgh Musical Theater Company performed this play at the Byham Theater in Pittsburgh. The company did a splendid job of performing this endearing and highly entertaining musical. Fiddler on the Roof is the story of Tevye, played to perfection by James Critchfield in the PMT production, a Jewish man living in pre-revolutionary Russia, who is faced with the changing nature of Jewish society and the ever-present need to preserve tradition. Tevye has three beautiful daughters, each of whom, according to Jewish tradition, will marry a man picked by their father. Tevye looks forward to the day when he will be able to find rich, handsome suitors for his daughters. However, when each of them decides to marry someone who he has not picked, he is forced to take a second look at tradition and determine whether it is important enough to lose his daughters over. Also, Tevye must deal with the Russian generals who are trying to make him and his family flee the land that they have inhabited for many years. It showcases Tevyes strength through his ability to come to terms with the changes that are occurring all around him and the prejudice that is poisoning his native land. This masterful story would not exist if it werent for the hard work and devotion of talented writers. Joseph Stein, Jerry Bock, and Sheldon Harnick, the writers of the book, music, and lyrics respectively, are responsible for a story that transcends time and breaks through religious lines. While on the surface it may just seem like Fiddler on the Roof is the story of a simple man struggling to live his life one day at a time, it is much more than that. There is a much deeper meaning to this musical that requires one to look at ones own life and realize that life is all about change. If it werent for change, we wouldnt have many of the modern amenities that we now take for granted. We would also be stuck in one place. The authors have not only managed to create an entertaining musical, but also to infuse meaning into a story that on the surface looks just like any other tale. on the surface looks just like any other tale....
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- Spring '08