Fiddler on the Roof
Based on Sholem Aleichem stories by special permission of Arnold Perl
Book by Joseph Stein
Music by Jerry Bock
Lyrics by Sheldon Harnick
Performed August 11-14, 17-21, 24-28, 2004
The Boal Barn Playhouse
|Music Director||Russell Bloom|
|Scenic Designer||Anne Thompson|
|Costume Designer||Laura Lee Hanchar|
|Technical Director||Alexa Krepps|
|Choreographer||Jill A. Brighton|
|Lighting Designer||Matt Clark|
|Stage Manager||Louisa Smith|
|Apprentice Coordinator||William C. Muberger|
About the Show
The opening number of a musical often defines the work that follows. Think of “Oh What a Beautiful Morning” (Oklahoma), “May We Entertain You” (Gypsy), “Willkornrnen” (Cabaret), and “Why Can’t the English” (My Fair Lady). The same holds true for Fiddler on the Roof “Tradition.” This is what Fiddler is about.
As Tevye explains, there is a tradition for everything – for eating, for sleeping, for dressing (covered heads, prayer shawls). “Everyone knows who he is and what God expects him to do.” In the course of the song, we are introduced to Tevye, his family, and all the townspeople. To the Jews in the small shtetl (village) of Anatevka, life is as precarious as being a fiddler on the roof. What makes life endurable, what gives the Jews of Anatevka balance, what is their strength – is tradition.
Although Fiddler concentrates on Tevye and his daughters – the original title of the show – at its heart is the community – the papas, the mamas, the sons, the daughters. Some of the best songs in Fiddler are communal numbers such as “Tradition”, “To Life”, and “Sunrise, Sunset”. Fiddler traces the breakdown of Orthodox Jewish tradition, symbolized most importantly by the fact that three of Tevye’s daughters marry against Orthodox Jewish custom, one even marrying outside her faith. But other traditions are broken. Men dance with women, Golde even dancing with Tevye.
Anatevka, of course, does not exist in a vacuum. This is Russia in 1905, a time of pogroms. An edict is proclaimed, and all must leave Anatevka, which in turn will be destroyed. Although Anatevka “is just a place”, to its Jews, this “little town of mine” is a “dear little village”. As the villagers leave at different times and in opposite directions, we see the break-up of the community. All that is left is the fiddler. On to a new life in America. On to new traditions.
Richard Gidez for SCCT
|Lazar Wolf||Scott Case|
|Grandma Tzeitel/Villager||Bonnie Spetzer|
Directed on the New York Stage by Harold Prince
Original New York Stage Production
Directed & Choreographed by Jerome Robbins
“Fiddler on the Roof” is presented through special arrangement with and all authorized performance materials are supplied by Music Theatre International,
421 West 54th Street, New York, NY 10019
Tel.: (212) 541-4684 Fax: (212) 397-4684