More specifically, the comparison to be made is between both of Brent Carver’s performances in the aforementioned plays. In Fiddler, Mr. Carver presented us with a humble, lovable and yet poor milkman (Tevye), quite pleased with what he has, but always hoping for a little bit more money in his purse (as he says, “If I were a rich man…”). What makes his character all the more lovable is his monologues with the Almighty/God (as well as the audience), for this is where the pureness of his heart shines through. For example, he stops to think and speak with God when he sees his daughter Tzeitel in love with Motel.
The two had made a pledge to marry one another, but Tzeitel became betrothed to a butcher named Lazar Wolf. In this brief (and musical) contemplation, Tevye weighs the two choices he has, and finally comes to the conclusion that marrying Motel would be mouch better for his daughter, ultimately scoring points with the audience. In Elizabeth Rex, however, Carver brought to life an entirely different character with Ned: a homosexual confined to playing women’s roles and cursed to die from a pox given to him by his lover.
Ned is also a heartwarming character at times, showing his companionship with the other characters and with his pet bear, but at other times, he challenges both the audience and the queen of England. The first indication that Ned was much more than any other character usually seen on stage was his entrance. He ran up on stage yelling obscenities (“Shit! Shit! You rutting bitch! ”) and throwing his shoes because one of his fellow actors had flubbed a line.
But when the queen appeared, his attitude became more grim and clever. He dared her to stop playing the man for once and be true to herself. He waved his logic in her face, and when she made an argument, he turned it right back upon her. In conclusion, both of Brent Carver’s performances were magnificent and gave light of his acting scope, proving that he can play two very deep and moving characters hours between one another. But if you look very closely, you may see a bit of Tevye in Ned, and a bit of Ned in Tevye.