I had such a great week this week. I finally have an office to work in from home, I met up with a bunch of my gal pals at Bunco on Tuesday, and CK and I saw Topol (yes, THE Topol) in Fiddler on the Roof at the Orange County Performing Arts Center. At 74 years old, I was amazed at his charisma, his energy, his strength of voice and body. He could have been 45 or 50, the way he moved and performed.
Now, for those of you who did not grow up watching the Fiddler on the Roof movie endlessly, as I did, or sing the songs of the musical in choir concerts in junior high and high school, as I did, this may not be a significant thing, but for me… To HEAR his voice and SEE his face and WATCH him dance as he sang, “If I were a rich man, ya va di va di va di va di va di va di va dum…” What can I say? It was enchanting. I got goose bumps.
The story of Fiddler on the Roof starts out celebrating the traditions of the Jewish community of a small Russian village in the early 1900s, focusing on Tevye the milkman and his 5 daughters. As the outside world encroaches on the community and ethnic and religious clashes increase (both in the family and in the village), the worst happens with Tevye, his wife and his remaining daughters having to vacate their home and their country.
So after sitting in an audience of thousands, who hooted and hollered as though they were at the rock concert of the century every time Topol (Tevye) appeared, what tea does a girl steep to savor the memory of such a rich experience?
I’ve always found Russian Caravan tea to be too heavy handed, too smoky, and too oppressive. Maybe this would be appropriate in light of the Tsarist oppression and ethnic cleansing the musical infers. But there was still the celebration of culture, of family, of tradition, however hanging-by-a-thread that tradition was. And so, I chose Puerh, specifically mini compressed Puerh from Imperial Tea, which came as a part of a Puerh sampler.
This rich, earthy brew was just brooding enough in both color and taste to help me absorb the visual and emotional smorgasbord I had just witnessed. With a hint of smokiness, I could pay homage to the spirit of Russian Caravan, without being overwhelmed by it.
I kind of like this. I may have to start my own Tradition. Musicals and tea pairings. Hmmm.