Half-a-century after its premiere, Fiddler on the Roof remains a powerful touchstone, frequently cited in popular culture and in places you’d never expect to find it. This blog reports on Fiddler sightings (with some occasional related musings) and invites you to send in the references you find by clicking here.

Welcome to Anatevka!

Posted by Alisa Solomon on September 4th, 2015 anatevkaf

Once upon a time, some 110 years ago, fictional Jews were forced to leave Anatevka. On Tuesday, Jews started moving back in. A Ukrainian rabbi has built the town to house Jewish refugees from the war raging in Eastern Ukraine between pro-Russian forces and Ukrainian troops. Since the fighting began in 2014, an estimated one […]

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Act Yiddish Even If British

Posted by Alisa Solomon on August 28th, 2015 st.james

Act British, think Yiddish, the old adage goes. Not any more. A new show in London’s West End — You Won’t Succeed on Broadway if You Don’t Have Any Jews — is celebrating the Jewish contribution to the Great White Way, revealing a heartening reversal in England’s anxiety about Jewish performance. The revue features numbers from the 1930s to […]

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Ready for Prime Time

Posted by Alisa Solomon on July 6th, 2015 Screenshot 2015-07-06 21.15.26

Better than getting to be a contestant on Jeopardy! is being a question! This aired on June 30, 2015.

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FIDDLER goes to jail

Posted by Alisa Solomon on June 17th, 2015 OITNB-Cindy

There’s a Jewish plot-line in the new season of Netflix TV’s Orange is the New Black, and our favorite musical kicks off its most poignant development. Here’s the set-up: When the new private company managing Lichtfield Prison cuts costs by feeding inmates pre-packaged meals instead of assigning some prisoners to cook fresh food in the kitchen, the […]

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Posted by Alisa Solomon on June 1st, 2015 Wales

Lovers of Yiddish, the language of Sholem-Aleichem’s original Tevye stories, will appreciate the Eisteddfod, the huge youth festivals in Wales that feature literature, music, dance, and theatrical performances and competitions, promoting creative expression in the Welsh language — which is spoken today by less than one-fifth of the population of Wales, according to the 2011 UK […]

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Well, I just heard from someone who should know . . .

Posted by Alisa Solomon on October 29th, 2014 NYPost

Leave it to the New York Post to find a lewd use for the title of our beloved musical. The tangy tabloid‘s huge-type headline refers to a janitor at a Manhattan elementary school alleged to be peeping from the rooftop at women in nearby apartments and, ahem, “fiddling” with himself. Good grief. Worse than the bad […]

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Israel Goes Postal to Salute FIDDLER’s 50th

Posted by Alisa Solomon on September 22nd, 2014 jrst0699

To the authors of Fiddler, Israel seemed like the logical place for the show’s first foreign production, but it seemed like a far less logical fit to Israelis in the mid-1960s, when the American musical brought Tevye onto a stage in Jaffa in a production that was quite lavish for   Israeli theater of the day. The project […]

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Still Bottle Dancing after all these years…

Posted by Alisa Solomon on June 23rd, 2014 sammy.w.bottle

The June 9 Folksbiene gala celebrated FIDDLER’s 50th on June 9 by bringing together dozens of FIDDLER alums for an inspiring evening of song and reminiscences. Backstage, before the festivities began, four dancers from the original production — Lou Genevrino, Robert Aberdeen, Sammy Dallas Bayes, and Larry Ross — remembered the moves. Here’s a clip […]

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Is the Pope Catholic? Sure. But the Cardinal? FIDDLER explains.

Posted by Alisa Solomon on June 10th, 2014 Cardinal-Cormac-Mu_1513169c

When the New York Times reported today that the mother of the late Cardinal John O’Connor of New York turns out to have been a Jew who converted to Catholicism, they sought some context from the Rabbi James Prosnit  of the congregation where the Cardinal’s grandparents were members at the turn of the 20th Century. The […]

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No Yenta for Yentl

Posted by Alisa Solomon on May 28th, 2014 10J.sobule.

In one of her rocking tunes for YENTL (the play, adapted by Leah Napolin from I.B. Singer’s Yiddish story — not the Streisand movie), Jill Sobule throws FIDDLER a sweetly sardonic smooch. It comes in an anthemic number in which Yentl/Anshel declares, “I Hate Girl Things”: Studying beats sewing any day. “Matchmaker, matchmaker,” Sobule sings, catching the […]

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