Sunday, Dec 16, 2018
 
search SGN
SERVING SEATTLE AND THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST FOR 37 YEARS!

click to visit advertiser's website


Javascript DHTML Drop Down Menu Powered by dhtml-menu-builder.com

Last Weeks Edition
   
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
 
 
Uncomman Fragrance by Michael Todd
 
KitchenSource.com
 
 

125x125 Bedding Sets
 
Roku.com-The Little Black Box That Streams Thousands of Films!
 
 

 

[Valid RSS]

click to go to advertisers website
Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, May 14, 2010 - Volume 38 Issue 20
SGN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Harvey Fierstein brings Tevye to life in Fiddler on the Roof
Arts & Entertainment
ALL STORIES
  next story
SGN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Harvey Fierstein brings Tevye to life in Fiddler on the Roof

by Eric Andrews-Katz - SGN Contributing Writer

Fiddler on the Roof
May 25-30
Paramount TheatRE


There are many ways to describe Harvey Fierstein, but the one word that comes foremost to mind is "unique." His lists of accomplishments is impressive. He's penned the scripts for several Broadway shows and an award-winning children's book, The Sissy Duckling. He is one of only two people to win Tony Awards in four separate categories, and one of two actors to win a Tony Award for playing a role of the opposite gender. His voice is as unmistakable as his presence, and Seattle is awaiting his next arrival. Touring as Tevye, the milkman, in the current production of Fiddler on the Roof, Harvey Fierstein took time from his busy schedule to grant the SGN an interview.

Eric Andrews-Katz: Who inspired you to be a performer?

Harvey Fierstein: I never wanted to be a performer. I always wanted to be an artist. My performing sort of happened. A friend's mother started working at a community theater and asked me to make posters.

Andrews-Katz: You're quoted as saying: "Once the Gay civil rights bills have been passed, me and mine will find ourselves swept under the carpets&." As we advance further towards that goal, do you find the groundbreaking roles to be fading?

Fierstein: You can't attribute that to me, that was the character Arnold from my play Torch Song Trilogy. What he's talking about is that in the early Gay marches it was the drag queens at the lead; they started Stonewall. They were the Gays that didn't/couldn't hide. They get shoved aside for the ones called "normal acting." We as a movement have always had a problem with images. We do not want to accept our strengths; it's more a perception of a gender problem. We want to be seen as "normal," but in the "straight" world, there is no normal, either, so it's hard to have a role model that's "normal."

Andrews-Katz: You were one of two actors to ever win Tony Awards [for a musical] for playing a character of the opposite gender. What are the advantages of that?

Fierstein: I'm playing a role whether I'm playing a woman or the father of five daughters. You inhabit the role as much as you can. It's more fun for a role to be further away from whom you are, to make it physical and flesh it out. But it's still the same job.

Andrews-Katz: You have been, and continue to be, an inspiration to generations of Gay people. Who do you think will be the up-and-coming inspirations?

Fierstein: I don't know.

Andrews-Katz: What kind of aftershock did you receive from being the first person to ever thank your partner on an award show at the 1983 Tony Awards?

Fierstein: In some circles I got thanked. In some I got slapped around a bit. It was interesting. You don't do things for a reaction. You live your life and you make your art. You put it out there and how the world reacts isn't your business. In the 12-step worlds, you are taught that what anyone thinks of you is none of your damn business.

Andrews-Katz: Being multitalented, which do you prefer: performing or writing?

Fierstein: I like doing everything.

Andrews-Katz: Do you have any films planned with the current revival of the musical La Cage Aux Folles? Will a movie be in the works?

Fierstein: You asked if I had anything planned, no.

Andrews-Katz: What do you think is the present biggest obstacle that faces a nation for Gay equality?

Fierstein: We've already won the big war as being seen in a civil rights way. Now we are just doing the clean-up from the battles. It took us this many years to get this far; it'll take us however as many years to win all the others in courts. The government doesn't belong in anyone's bedroom. We need to educate, educate, educate. We are part of everyone's family. The numbers are slowly turning around, but we still need to fight where we need to fight.

Andrews-Katz: What challenges do you face playing such an iconic role as Tevye?

Fierstein: I've been doing the show long enough that it's a pretty easy fit. I'm approaching my 600th performance. You know where you are going and where you've been, and how to get there. It's a fabulous role with tragedy, singing, and dancing. It's also physically and emotionally demanding. Everything about his life is challenged by circumstance.

Andrews-Katz: What is relevant about Fiddler on the Roof today?

Fierstein: You can look at Fiddler on different levels. Tevye lives a fundamentalist life and is in a community where they believe they know what everyone's job is. Fundamentalism (any kind) is a way of death because you don't move forward. There is the head of your sect and the rest are followers. Tevye is like that, but circumstances in the world keep changing him, so that by the end of the show he is ready to become what we think of as "the American Jew." It's an interesting journey. Then there is the amount of prejudice in the world, and that is horrifying! We don't call them "pogroms" anymore, they are "ethnic cleansings," but murder/genocide happen on a daily basis and we seem to learn nothing of it. Fiddler reminds us of that.

Based on the short stories of Sholom Aleichem, Fiddler on the Roof tells the story of Tevye, whose life of Jewish traditions comes crashing against the transformation of modern Russia c.1905. Originally staring Zero Mostel (and Bea Arthur as Yente), Fiddler ran on Broadway for 3,242 performances, was nominated for 10 Tony Awards in 1965 and won nine, including Best Musical. In 1972, it won the honor of becoming the longest-running Broadway show in history, a title it would keep for over eight years.

Tell a friend:

Share on Facebook  Share on Facebook

Post to MySpace!Share on MySpace!

    Share on Delicious

Share on StumbleUpon!

Hedda Lettuce returns to Seattle
------------------------------
Seattle's Pride Idol: Round Two
------------------------------
SGN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Harvey Fierstein brings Tevye to life in Fiddler on the Roof
------------------------------
Nature of Dust gives audiences a new perspective
------------------------------
Rare Webber musical Tell Me on a Sunday a cult favorite
------------------------------
A Dyke About Town: Sonny Rollins and 110 in the Shade
------------------------------
Risky Amelia pays off for Seattle Opera
------------------------------
Seattle Symphony Strings never sounded so good
------------------------------

------------------------------
VIDEO - BANNED HEINZ GAY KISS ADVERT
------------------------------
Goss and Clark bring Spring Tour to Seattle
------------------------------
Open closes Seattle's 2010 Trangender Film Fest
------------------------------
Film fest 'the heart and soul' of Trans culture
------------------------------
Garofalo proves shooting DVDs not the same as making comedy
------------------------------
Where It's At: COMING TO SEATTLE - Sedaris, Eagles, Lady Antebellum
------------------------------
Q-Scopes by Jack Fertig
------------------------------

------------------------------
Frightened Rabbit's Hutchison gets ready for Lollapalooza
------------------------------
Northwest News
------------------------------
Letters
------------------------------
Deep Inside Hollywood
------------------------------
Fuckdog a madcap mess of mischief
------------------------------
RAIN's Beatles tribute the soundtrack of our lives
------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------
Sci-fi Senses a cautionary tale
------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

click to visit advertiser's website

click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
SkinCareRx Banner (250x250)
Seattle Gay Blog post your own information on
the Seattle Gay Blog
 

Roku.com-The Little Black Box That Streams Thousands of Films!
gay news feeds gay news readers gay rss gay
http://sgn.org/rss.xml | what is RSS? | Add to Google use Google to set up your RSS feed
SGN Calendar For Mobile Phones http://sgn.org/rssCalendarMobile.xml
SGN Calendar http://sgn.org/rssCalendar.xml
copyright Seattle Gay News - DigitalTeamWorks 2010

USA Gay News American News American Gay News USA American Gay News United States American Lesbian News USA American Lesbian News United States USA News
Pacific Northwest News in Seattle News in Washington State News