In honor of the musical theater masterpiece Fiddler on the Roof‘s Broadway revival, Masterworks Broadway is emptying out its vault to celebrate its history and countdown to its opening date on November 17. The fall 2015 revival will be directed by Tony Award winner Bartlett Sher and produced by Jeffrey Richards, Jerry Frankel and Steve Traxler.
Based on Sholom Aleichem’s stories about a poor milkman in late 19th century Russia, and the five daughters for whom he seeks significant weddings, this great musical, which opened at the Imperial Theatre on September 22, 1964, benefited from the portrayal of Zero Mostel as Tevye, and Jerome Robbins’ splendid choreography in Boris Aronson’s sets inspired by the paintings of Marc Chagall. In the profuse score created by Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick, “If I Were A Rich Man” stands out as the anthem of everyone looking for a better life. Before she became Mame’s bosom buddy and a television Golden Girl, Bea Arthur played Yente, the matchmaker; and Maria Karnilova traded her stripper’s outfit in Gypsy for the torn dress worn by Golde, Tevye’s long-suffering and silent wife. Others who shone in the cast included Julia Migenes as Hodel; Bert Convy as Perchik, the student; Austin Pendleton, as Motel, the tailor; and Leonard Frey, as Mendel, the rabbi’s son. Even though several actors (Herschel Bernardi, Luther Adler, Harry Goz, among others) played the milkman during the show’s long run of 3,242 performances, Mostel’s portrayal remains its supreme incarnation.
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