Most of this production’s success can be attributed to Robert Newman. Few actors have taken the Barn stage with the presence and authority that Newman possesses. And though he commands attention, he also shows mastery of the gentle touch. He shows skill with quiet and subtle moments. But when he needs to go big, he goes off bigger than any fireworks in our July Fourth skies.
In Tevye’s first song, “If I Were a Rich Man,” he questions God about a “vast eternal plan.” Newman reveals his and the town’s heart and soul with this, one of his many personal conversations with God. “Rich Man” sets the stage for his hilarious and heart-wrenching life. He sings the songs well, dances with brio, and shakes his head and fist at the heavens with conviction, perfectly capturing Tevye’s inner flame.
– Christopher Tower Battle Creek Enquirer
Newman, whose versatility as an actor may surprise those used only to his longtime portrayal of Josh Lewis on the CBS daytime drama ”The Guiding Light” (last Barn show he was a hot-tempered Texas sheriff), certainly is the best-looking Tevye in this reviewer’s memory, which has absolutely nothing to do with his portrayal of the long-suffering peasant.
Newman delivered a beautifully-grounded portrait of an everyman, bounded by his duty to God and family, and ready to bow but never break before the slings and arrows of … well, Shakespeare said it all.
All the Barn needed was the right Tevye, and it got one. The former “Guiding Light” star made Tevye a big, conflicted and real man faced with a changing world.
Newman’s delivery of Tevye’s Yiddish wisdom and humor was solid. The audience gave a rousing and long standing ovation.
-Mark Wedel, Kalamazoo Gazette