The Fiddler Ghost
Harman Center The Forum
Friday, July 18 @ 6:00pm; Saturday, July 19 @ 2:00 PM; Sunday, July 27 @ 7:00 PM
They say: A visual presentation of an ancient folktale. The evolution of a people long forgotten. The birth and death of magic from the world in our eyes. Movement, dance, art, music, everything in between and unlike anything youve ever seen. The Fiddler Ghost lives on. Movement. Art. Dance. Music. Fate. Myth. And a live Fiddler.
Tabithas take: There are some things to like. The live fiddler is good. The performers are well-rehearsed and committed. The show has rustic charm, as if it’s taking place in an open-minded pub, and a draught of Guinness is only a wink away.
However, when you find yourself thinking, “Gee, they could’ve used help from Michael Flatley,” you know something’s not right. Putting hands behind the back and hopping does not an Irish jig make. The choreography veers wildly, from an entertaining puppet sequence in which a man is controlled by fairies, to a dance stolen from the Lost Boys in Disney’s Peter Pan.
Even with the plot described in the program, it can be hard to follow. The myth is unfamiliar, and although the cast can dance, their lack of mime expertise renders some of the action unintelligible. They seem to always know what they’re doing, but often, I didn’t. The most glaring deficiency: with the live fiddler providing the music, an actor pretends to play, glancing around in a way that would’ve sent the instrument tucked under his chin crashing. It could have been a lovely moment – this ghost fiddler playing an invisible fiddle – but instead it was almost silly.
Still, the production isn’t a lost cause. The cast has talent, and in this, their first production as Old Lore Theater, they demonstrate that they may not be quite out of the fairy’s woods yet, but there’s hope.
See it if: You want to support a fledgling company with unique ideas, andyou always suspected that fairies sounded like gremlins.
Skip it if: You revere Jacques Lecoq (or Michael Flatley).