A new production of Fiddler on the Roof is playing in New York City, right on the heels of a revival only a couple years ago. But this one is different -- the off-Broadway production is performed entirely in Yiddish, by the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene. Also drawing attention is that it's directed by Tony and Oscar-winning actor Joel Grey. (Though he doesn't speak Yiddish, which I suspect was a challenge, his father Mickey Katz was a big star of the Yiddish theater, which may have had something -- if not a huge deal -- to do with him wanting to take on the challenge.)
The show has been a big hit, and watching clips of it I can see why. The production includes English supertitles (and also Russian ones!), not unlike an opera. And it appears rich and vibrant, and very moving. And by this point, I would think most people have a pretty good idea what the story is of Fiddler on the Roof anyway, even with out the supertitles.
The video here is well-done, and the show looks wonderful and vibrant. And stick around after, because I have a fun bonus video below -- which actually is what I saw first that prompted this.
And now the bonus. As I said, this is what came to my attention first, and as I was preparing to post it, I thought I should check out the show itself. Which brought about the video above. And now we come to that initial video below --
There's an annual fundraising event in New York City that the Broadway community puts on, called the Easter Bonnet." And every year they also given an award for the Best Presentation by a theater company. This year, the award went to this off-Broadway company of Fiddlier on the Roof" in Yiddish. They wondered what it would be like if other Broadway shows were done in Yiddish, too. And there's a guest appearance at the end by Joel Grey, who joins in -- despite not speaking Yiddish.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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