Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish is playing at Stage 43 located at 422 West 42nd Street. It runs three hours fifteen minutes with one intermission. The musical closes on September 1, 2019.
The original production opened on September 22, 1964 at the Imperial Theatre, transferred in 1967 to the Majestic Theatre and in 1970to The Broadway Theatre, and ran for 3,242 performances. It was nominated for ten Tony Awards and won nine. It won for best musical, score, and book. Jerome Robbins won for best direction and choreography. Zero Mostel for best lead actor and Maria Karnilova for best lead actress. In 1972, the show won a special Tony Award for being the longest-running musical in Broadway history.
The Yiddish version was first performed in 2018 at the Museum of Jewish Heritage located at 36 Battery Place in New York City.
Joel Gray is the director. He won a Tony Award for Cabaret (1966), and was nominated for three Tony Awards for The Grand tour (1979), Good Time Charley (1978) and George M. Cohen (1968).
Beowulf Boritt is the scenic designer. He won a Tony Award for Act One (2014) and was nominated for two Tony Awards for Therese Raquin (2016) and The Scottsboro Boys (2011).
Ann Hould-Ward is the custom designer. She won a Tony Award for Beauty and the Beast (1994) and was nominated for two for Tony Awards for Into the Woods (1988) and Sunday in the Park with George (1984).
The story takes place in Anateviea, Russia in 1905.
There is a large paper from the ceiling to the floor that says in Hebrew Torah (the law).
The story revolves Tevye (Steve Skyball), his wife Golde (Jennifer Babiak) and his five daughters. They are Tsatyl (Racael Zatcoff) the oldest, Hodi (Stephanie Lynn Mason), Khave (Rosie Jo Neddy), Beylke (Samatha Hahn) and Shprintze (Raquel Nobile).
Tevye is a poor farmer. His horse is lame so he has to pull his cart filled with milk containers to town.
Yente (Jackie Hoffman) is the matchmaker. She tell’s Golde she has a match for her oldest daughter Tsatyl. The butcher Leyzer-Volf (Bruce Sabath) is a widower and very rich. Golde tell’s Tevye that Leyze wants to talk to him. He thinks he wants to buy his cow. When he finds out why he wants to see him, he agrees to the wedding. Tsatyl is upset. She doesn’t want to marry him she is in love with the tailor Motl (Ben Liebert).Motel was waiting to propose when he got a sewing machine. Tevye bends to her wishes and gives his approval for her marriage to Motl.
Pertshik (Drew Seigla) arrives in town from Kiev. He is a teacher. Tevye invites to his home for the Sabbath and lets him stay to teach his daughters. Holdl falls for Pertshik.
Tsatyl and Moti are celebrating their wedding outside. The constable breaks it up. He tells Tevye that things are about to change but not what they are.
Holdl and Pertshik marry secretly. Teyve is not thrilled but accepts him into the family.
Khave falls in love with a Christian boy Fyedke (Cameon Johnson). He protects her from the boys in town that heckle her. They marry secretly. When she tells her father she is banished from the family.
Pertshik leaves to go to Kiev to fight for social justice. He is arrested and sent Siberia. Hodl leaves to be with him.
Time goes by and Tsaytl has a baby and Motl gets his sewing machine.
The constable tells Tevya that he has three days to leave the town. All Jews have to leave their homes. Some go to the United States, some to Israel.
This is a wonderful production of Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish. The story is more involved with Tevya, Golde and their daughters. Steven Skybell shines as Tevya. His movements and singing are breathtaking. . Jennifer Babiak and Bruce Sabath are outstanding. The show has a large cast; they bring out the best in this production.
The only flaw and just a little one is since it’s in Yiddish the translation is on the wall on either side of the stage-so if you are reading it you are missing performance on stage.
Review by Rozanna Radakovich.
Photos by Annazor.
To read a candid interview with the cast, scroll down to the left for photos. Click on photos for this and other shows.