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.

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 […]

Read more »

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 […]

Read more »

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 […]

Read more »

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 […]

Read more »

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 […]

Read more »

Can a Broadway musical tell us anything about Ukraine today?

Posted by Alisa Solomon on April 24th, 2014 imgres

The current upheaval in Ukraine is under what the scholar Timothy Snyder calls a “haze of propaganda” For the syndicated columnists Cokie Roberts and Steven V. Roberts, good old FIDDLER can be called in, if not to explain the political intrigue, at least to appeal to sentiment about the land where Sholem-Aleichem was born and […]

Read more »

FIDDLER returns in ’15

Posted by Alisa Solomon on March 8th, 2014 harvey

The words to note in yesterday’s announcement that Fiddler will be returning to Broadway in its fifth revival in the Fall of 2015 are these: The production, to be directed by Bartlet Sher, based on original conceptions and choreography by Robbins, will feature choreography by Hofesh Shechter. That means some loosening of restrictions on previous productions that have required […]

Read more »

All That Echoes: Groban’s Tevye of 1999

Posted by Alisa Solomon on February 6th, 2014 josh-groban-all-that-press

A YouTube video of Josh Groban playing Tevye at the Los Angeles High School of the Performing Arts has surfaced thanks to TheaterMania — and here it is, where you can hear the talented teen singing about becoming a rich man. This tune isn’t on any of the 25 million records he’s sold worldwide. Maybe […]

Read more »

Anatevka Traffic Report

Posted by Alisa Solomon on January 11th, 2014 83px-George_Washington_Bridge,_HAER_NY-129-66

How does one explain Governor Chris Christie’s alleged role in jamming traffic on the George Washington Bridge as political payback? On the “Daily Show” of January 8, Jon Stewart answered in one word: “Corruption!” Watch for it at 5:15. The Daily Show Get More: Daily Show Full Episodes,The Daily Show on Facebook

Read more »

Fiddler on the Scales of Justice

Posted by Alisa Solomon on January 5th, 2014 Lady_Justice-500x472

Chicago Law professor and blogger Eric Posner has discovered a correlation — or causal link! — between the release of Norman Jewison’s FIDDLER movie in 1971 and the frequency of the word “chutzpah” in judicial opinions. The word never appears in FIDDLER’s script, but the film’s popularity bolstered American Jews’ cultural comfort and visibility, so […]

Read more »