The highly anticipated American premiere of the Yiddish language Fiddler on the Roof, presented by the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene (NYTF) begins preview PERFORMANCE Off Broadway at the Museum of Jewish Heritage on Wednesday, July 4th, with Press Opening slated for Sunday, July 15 and a VIP gala performance on Monday, July 16. Helmed by Academy Award and Tony Award winner Joel Grey, the acclaimed musical is being presented for an 8-week limited engagement through August 26.
“This is a historic moment for the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene,” says NYTF Chief Executive Officer and two-time Tony Award-nominated producer Christopher Massimine. “This American Premiere of the world’s most-recognized Jewish musical has found its way home—and its messages of survival and hope are as timely and resonant as ever.”
NYTF, which was recently nominated for a 2018 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Musical Revivial (Amerike-The Golden Land), is bringing the vibrant Yiddish translation of Fiddler on the Roof to America for the first time – and 50 years since it took place in Israel. The show will be presented in Yiddish with English and Russian supertitles.
“The Yiddish translation of Fiddler on the Roof was artfully constructed by noted Israeli actor/director Shraga Friedman in 1965, and supports the brilliance of Sheldon Harnick /Jerry Bock and Joseph Stein’s musical, while deepening the connection of the work to Sholem Aleichem’s original Tevye the Dairyman stories,” says NYTF Artistic Director Zalmen Mlotek. “Friedman, a native Yiddish speaker, was born in Warsaw and escaped the 2nd World War with his family, making their way to Tel Aviv in 1941. Well acquainted with Sholem Aleichem’s works, Friedman crafted his translation to infuse Fiddler with literary references from the original Tevye the Dairyman stories.”
For tickets, visit www.NYTF.org or call 866-811-4111. For group sales and memberships, call 212-213-2120 Ext. 204.
NYTF and the Museum of Jewish Heritage will co-present a special Fiddler-themed Wednesday evening series Fiddler Talks: From Anatevke to Broadway and Back Again. Tickets to the Wednesday evening series’ events are $5-$10 and can be purchased at www.mjhnyc.org:
- The Making of Fiddler on the Roof – July 18 at 6:30pm: Explore Fiddler’s rich history through a conversation featuring Sheldon Harnick, Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning lyricist of Fiddler on the Roof, and Alisa Solomon, acclaimed author of Wonder of Wonders: A Cultural History of Fiddler on the Roof.
- Transforming “Fiddler On The Roof” Into “Fidler Afn Dakh” – July 25 at 6:30pm: Join us for a lively discussion of the journey to bring the Yiddish Fiddler to life. Featuring Joel Grey, Director; Staś Kmieć, Choreographer; and Zalmen Mlotek, National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene’s Musical Director and Artistic Director. Moderated by Budd Mishkin.
- The Tradition of Fiddler on the Roof – August 1 at 6:30pm: Austin Pendelton, Broadway’s original “Motel the Tailor,” and Staś Kmieć, Fiddlerhistorian, choreographer and veteran cast member, will take on the show’s incredible “tradition!”
- Sholom Aleichem’s Tevye And “Fiddler”, Or “Was Tevye A Traditional Jew?” – August 8 at 6:30pm: Join Ruth Wisse, Harvard University’s Martin Peretz Professor of Yiddish Literature and Comparative Literature, for an illuminating talk on Tevye.
- Shalom / Sholom The Yiddish Mark Twain – August 22 at 6:30pm: Performance conceived and performed by Bob Spiotto. Sholom Aleichem left his literary mark on the world. Bob Spiotto offers a unique smorgasbord of stories featuring the author’s precarious balance of humor, horror, pathos, and philosophical insight, as well as words of wisdom and advice from Tevye, the milkman.
Previously announced, playing the iconic roles of Yente, Tevye, and Golde are, respectively, comedian and Emmy Award nominee Jackie Hoffman (Charlie And the Chocolate Factory, The Addams Family, Hairspray, Xanadu), and Broadway veterans Steven Skybell (Fiddler On The Roof, Wicked, The Full Monty), and Mary Illes (Phantom of the Opera, The Music Man, The Scarlett Pimpernel, Steel Pier).
The cast is rounded out with Jennifer Babiak as Grandma Tzeitel/ U/S Golde (Fiddler On The Roof, West Side Story, Grease, Evita); Joanne Borts as Sheyndl/Understudy for Yente, Fruma Sarah, Grandma Tzeitel (Once, Cinderella, Showboat, Those Were The Days); Josh Dunn as Chaim (A Charlie Brown Christmas, Cabaret); Michael Einav as Ensemble/Understudy for Fyedka, Motel, and Perchik (Scoop, The Golden Bride); Kirk Geritano as Avram (The Sorceress); Samantha Hahn as Bielke (Nella the Princess Knight); Cameron Johnson as Fyedka (The Golden Bride); Daniel Kahn as Perchik (Amerike–The Golden Land); Ben Liebert as Motel (Wicked, Grease); Stephanie Lynne Mason as Hodel (Fiddler on the Roof, The Sorceress, Amerike- The Golden Land); Evan Mayer as Sasha (Annie, A Christmas Story, My Fair Lady); Rosie Jo Neddy as Chava (Carousel); Raquel Nobile as Shprintze ( The Sorceress, Amerike–The Golden Land); Nick Raynor as Yussel (The Producers, Guys And Dolls, A Chorus Line); Bruce Sabath as Lazar Wolf (Company); Kayleen Seidl as Ensemble/Understudy for Tzeitel, Hodel, Chava (Guys And Dolls, The Sorceress); Adam B. Shapiro as Rabbi/Understudy for Tevye and Lazar Wolf (HBO’s The Normal Heart, The Golden Bride, Gimpel Tam); Jodi Snyder as Fruma-Sarah (Pete the Cat); James Monroe Števko as Mendel (Radio City Christmas Spectacular, Carousel); Lauren Jeanne Thomas as The Fiddler (Once, The Goree All-Girl String Band); Bobby Underwood as The Constable (Amerike–The Golden Land, The Sorceress); Michael Yashinsky as Mordcha (The Sorceress); and Rachel Zatcoff as Tzeitel (The Phantom of the Opera, Candide, The Golden Bride).
Entering its 104th season, Tony Award-nominated and Drama Desk Award-winning National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene (NYTF), the longest consecutively producing theatre in the U.S. and the world’s oldest continuously operating Yiddish theatre company was just nominated for a 2018 Drama Desk Award for last year’s production of Amerike – The Golden Land. Led by CEO Christopher Massimine and Artistic Director Zalmen Mlotek, NYTF is dedicated to creating a living legacy through the arts, connecting generations and bridging communities. NYTF aims to bring history to life by reviving and restoring lost and forgotten work, commissioning new work, and adapting pre-existing work for the 21st Century. Serving a diverse audience comprised of performing arts patrons, cultural enthusiasts, Yiddish-language aficionados and the general public, the company presents plays, musicals, concerts, lectures, interactive educational workshops and community-building activities in English and Yiddish, with English and Russian supertitles accompanying performances. NYTF provides access to a century-old cultural legacy and inspires the imaginations of the next generation to contribute to this valuable body of work. Learn more at www.NYTF.org.
Edited by: JV Staff