‘Fiddler on the Roof’ (Photo: Joan Marcus via The Broadway Blog.)
Fiddler on the Roof, which The New York Times declared a “superb new production”, announces that it will play its final performance on Saturday, December 31, 2016 at 2:00 p.m. At the time of closing, Fiddler on the Roof will have played a total of 464 performances.
Producer Jeffrey Richards said; “We felt that it was important to provide people with enough time to come see this great musical in a definitive production. Who knows the next time one will be able to experience this award-winning show on Broadway!”.
Fiddler on the Roof, which boast a cast of 40 actors and an orchestra of 23 musicians, was nominated for three 2016 Tony Awards, including Best Musical Revival, Best Choreography (Hofesh Shechter) and Best Actor in a Musical (Danny Burstein). Additionally, Fiddler on the Roof took home two Drama Desk Awards for Outstanding Director of a Musical (Bart Sher) and Outstanding Actor in a Musical (Danny Burstein). Burstein was also awarded the Outer Critics Circle Award for the Outstanding Actor in a Musical.
‘Fiddler on the Roof’ (Photo: Joan Marcus via The Broadway Blog.)
The producers of the hit Broadway revival of Fiddler on the Roof announce that the production will donate $2 from every full-price ticket purchased to the show for all February 2016 performances to The United Way of Genesee County’s Flint Water Fund, which directly provides aid the Michigan city’s residents, currently suffering from a critical drinking water contamination crisis.
A beloved theatrical classic from Tony Award-winner Joseph Stein, and Pulitzer Prize- winners Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick, Fiddler on the Roof is directed by Tony Award-winner Bartlett Sher (South Pacific, The King and I); choreographed by the acclaimed Israeli choreographer Hofesh Shechter; inspired by the original choreography of Jerome Robbins; and has musical direction by Ted Sperling. Fiddler on the Roof is playing at The Broadway Theatre (1681 Broadway, at 53rd Street). Tickets are now on sale via Telecharge.com or by phone at (212) 239-6200.
The United Way of Genesee County in Flint, MI has been working alongside a few core partners since the lead was discovered in late September 2015. The United Way has sourced more than 11,000 filter systems, 5,000 replacement filters, ongoing sources of bottled water to the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan and also supports a dedicated driver for daily distribution.
Funds generated through Fiddler on the Roof’s full-price February ticket purchases will be donated to the United Way of Genesee County’s Flint Water Fund, which serves both the immediate and long-term needs of the community.
Monetary donations will be used for the purchase of water filters, bottled water, emergency support services and prevention efforts in Flint, Michigan. One hundred percent of donated funds are used for Flint Water Fund and no administrative fee is assessed.
After the short-term need of Flint residents has been met, any remaining funds will be directed to the Flint Child Health and Development Fund. This fund will provide long-term aid to children and families with interventions that support positive health outcomes.
“This is a generous gift for the people of Flint, one that will help address our immediate needs in the community,” said Jamie Gaskin, CEO of the United Way of Genesee County.
Says Fiddler on the Roof producer Jeffrey Richards, “In keeping with the great Broadway tradition of giving back, I am proud that proceeds from this iconic musical about tradition – which celebrates the human spirit’s ability to find strength, love and joy in the face of diversity – will help the people of Flint through their current crisis.”
The cast of ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ (Photo: Joan Marcus via The Broadway Blog.)
When it opened more than 50 years ago at the Imperial Theatre, Fiddler on the Roofreceived tremendous critical and audience acclaim. The sweeping musical starred Zero Mostel as Tevye, a poor milkman in turn-of-the-century Russia struggling to find a balance between his religious beliefs and changing times. (Theater geeks may also appreciate that the original cast also featured Bea Arthur, Burt Convey, and Austin Pendleton.)
Fiddler won nine Tony Awards (and a tenth in 1972 for becoming the longest-running musical at the time) with direction and choreography by Jerome Robbins and produced by Hal Prince. It was a brief return to the Golden Age of Broadway. Nominated for four Tony Awards throughout his career, Fiddler was book writer Joseph Stein’s only win. For young writers looking for a blueprint to successfully structure a traditional book musical, look no further than this seminal work. The polishing cloth has come out once again. Staged with humor and humanity, this Fiddler on the Roof redefines tradition.
Danny Burstein as Tevye in ”Fiddler on the Roof’ (Photo: Joan Marcus via The Broadway Blog.)
Bartlett Sher (The King and I, South Pacific, The Light in the Piazza) directs a cast of 34, this time led by Danny Burstein (Cabaret, South Pacific, The Drowsy Chaperone) as Tevye. Burstein’s patriarch is infectiously charming, occasionally boyish, but with the gravitas needed to withstand the repercussions of his daughters’ love interests as well as the demands of his hard-edged wife, Golde (Jessica Hecht).
Burstein has plenty to work with, including a terrific sparring partner in Hecht and an ensemble of triple-threat character actors. Sher unearths the complex personalities existing in the fictional village of Anatevka, including the meddling matchmaker, Yente (Alix Korey), the newly arrived student with revolutionary ideas, Perchik (Ben Rappaport), and the lovelorn tailor, Motel (Adam Kantor) in pursuit of his eldest daughter Tzeitel (Alexandra Silber), among others.
The creative team assembled to help realize Sher’s vision is mostly successful. Making his Broadway debut, choreographer Hofesh Shechter breathes new life into a work that has been stamped with Jerome Robbins’ blueprint since its inception. While traditionalists can rest assured that the bottle dance still exists in “The Wedding” sequence, much of Shecter’s work feels visceral and new, casting an athletic, thrashing energy to Jerry Bock’s score and Oran Eldor’s dance arrangements. Catherine Zuber’s costumes affectively set the tone for the bleak Russian landscape with a colorful reprieve during “Tevye’s Dream.”
Unfortunately, Michael Yeargan’s minimalist scenic design feels unnecessarily utilitarian in this otherwise splendid production. It’s been noted that Boris Aronson’s original set designs were inspired by the work of Jewish modernist Marc Chagall, and while that visual reference might not fit Sher’s concept, this production could use an innovative jolt, though Donald Holder’s lighting design makes the best of it.
‘Fiddler on the Roof’ (Photo: Joan Marcus via The Broadway Blog.)
There was much said when Fiddler on the Roof opened in 1964 in regards to its Jewish identity and how it might (or might not) resonate with audiences. Sher frames this production in a contemporary context, implying not so subtly that the diaspora of the Jewish people in late 19th century Russia is not so different than today’s struggles of Syrians and other persecuted populations looking for a peaceful land to call home. It is a haunting reminder that unless societies are willing to change and work toward peaceful co-existence, history is destined to repeat itself.
Here’s what the other critics are saying:
“…As directed by Bartlett Sher with his customary sensitivity (“The King and I,” “South Pacific”), this multihued staging moves to a heart-stopping conclusion. It’s impossible to watch the people of Tevye’s town, Anatevka, marching toward their unknown destinies in the shadow of a threatened pogrom without thinking of the thousands of families fleeing violence in the Middle East and elsewhere today.” The New York Times
“Performances are very good, as is the lively dancing choreographed by Hofesh Schechter that taps tradition and some contemporary moves. But the curious scenery often gets in the show’s way. It makes for a distracting, busy and slow-pokey production of a tightknit musical. As always, it ends on a strong note. Tevye’s acknowledgment, “God be with you,” to the disavowed Chava will change the shape of her life, her fathers’ and everyone’s. You’d have to be made of granite not to be moved to happiness and tears.” Daily News
“Registering strongest among the new perspectives of this production are the new movements and dances from Israeli choreographer Hofesh Shechter, based on the original staging by Jerome Robbins. Schechter finds his own conceptual vocabulary, especially in its grounded and raw folkloristic moves and its uplifting hand filigree, while at the same time paying tribute to Robbins.” Variety
“Fiddler on the Roof” at Arena Stage (photo: Margot Schulman via The Broadway Blog.)
If you can’t wait until next fall for the latest Broadway revival of Fiddler on the Roof, head to Arena Stage for their highly acclaimed production, which has become the theater’s highest grossing production in its 65-year history, shattering the record previously held by the 2011 return engagement of Oklahoma!
Celebrating the 50th anniversary of an American classic, the story follows Tevye, a humble Jewish father who finds his devotion to God severely tested by his headstrong daughters, who want to be their own matchmakers, and the increasingly ruthless government forcing him from his land. The jubilant and masterful score includes “If I Were a Rich Man,” “Sunrise, Sunset,” “Matchmaker, Matchmaker” and “Tradition.”
Illustration by Jody Hewgill.
Tony Award nominee Jonathan Hadary (Golden Boy, Spamalot, Gypsy) makes his Arena debut as Tevye in this celebration of family, community and life’s unexpected miracles, large and small. Ann Arvia (Mary Poppins, Les Miserables) plays opposite him as Golde, and the pair is joined by 20 D.C.-area actors out of the 28-person company. The production features choreography by Parker Esse, who adapts the original Jerome Robbins choreography for an in-the-round configuration, and musical direction by Paul Sportelli.
Popular demand for Fiddler on the Roof led to a weeklong extension of performances, and the production continues through January 11, 2015 in the Fichandler Stage.
“We are a theater that focuses on American voices, and the American musical is our seminal art form,” shares Smith. “We produce the gold-standard musicals because they each tell important stories of our times. Fiddler on the Roof is such a story. Fiddler covers the idiosyncratic beauty and range of human experience: the tyranny and joy of families, the creation and destruction of traditions, young love and mature love, community, immigration and racial and cultural hatred. There is a pulsing heart in the middle of this production that breaks on a nightly basis and re-knits itself each day, becoming more powerful every time. As we feel our world cracking apart, don’t we need this beautiful story of family and community?”
Lyricist Sheldon Harnick, who attended the opening night performance, adds, “I only wish that composer Jerry Bock and book writer Joseph Stein could have seen this superb production, directed so brilliantly by Molly.”
Broadway Blog editor Matthew Wexler gathers some theatrical chestnuts for the holiday season.
“Nutcracker Rouge” presented by Company XIV and The Saint At Large. (photo: Phillip Van Nostrand)
How many times can you drag you or your loved ones to George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker or the Radio City Christmas Spectacular featuring dozens of leggy and bleach-toothed Rockettes? I admit… these are iconic New York experiences, and if you’ve never been to the Big Apple during the holidays, at least one of them should be on your to-do list, along with the tree at Rockefeller Center and the decorated windows along Fifth Avenue. But for those with a more adventurous (and occasionally twisted) take on the holiday season, consider one of these theatrical ventures that is sure to have you bellowing “Ho, Ho, Whoa?” in no time.
“Nutcracker Rouge” presented by Company XIV and the Saint At Large. (photo: Robert Zash)
Nutcracker Rouge For grown-ups only, this mischievous and somewhat loose interpretation of the beloved holiday classic gets cranked up a few notches thanks to the innovative choreography and circus antics from director/choreographer Austin McCormick. Merging dance, circus, cabaret and naughty theatrics, you’ll be have more than visions of sugar plums dancing in your head.
A stand-out performance by Laura Careless, who transforms from wide-eyed muse to a 21st century version of Gypsy Rose Lee is worth the ticket alone—along with a bevy of high-heeled boys in thongs.
Minetta Lane Theatre 18 Minetta Lane Through January 5 Presented by Company XIV and The Saint At Large
Want a sneak peek?
Major Scales and Jinx Monsoon.
Jinkx Monsoon & Major Scales: Unwrapped Our favorite drag superstar returns with an all-new holiday special, featuring original songs, covers, comedic flair and drag sass that has catapulted actor Jerick Hoffer’s alter ego into sparkly stardom. The pair’s recent hit, The Vaudevillians, just ended a sold-out run at The Laurie Beechman Theater, so now is your chance to catch them in all of their holiday glory.