life in and around NYC is insane

Thursday, September 23, 2010

A Fiddler on the Roof. Sounds crazy, no? But in our little village of ....

If I close my eyes I can hear Zero Mostel as Tevye, reciting the opening monologue of Fiddler on the Roof.

Anyone who grew up Jewish in the 1960's knew all the words to all the songs of (as Harvey Fierstein calls it) "the sacred Fiddler." It opened September 22, 1964 and ran for over 3,000 performances.

I was fortunate to see the original production on Broadway, at the tail end of its run, in 1972.  I was 12 years old, and it was the first live musical I ever saw.  I went with my grandmother, who'd grown up in a shtetl and who once had dreams of being an actress in the Yiddish theater. 

I've seen the movie, of course.  I own it on DVD, and I've got the soundtrack as well as cast albums from several productions in my CD collection.


I was delighted to take my children to see the revival a few years ago, where Alfred Molia played Tevye.  (Becca walked out of the theater saying "I'm proud to be Jewish" -- mission accomplished!) Would have liked to have gone back when Harvey took over the role...but alas....

Still, when I listen to the music in my head....it's Mostel's voice I hear....so, for your listening pleasure, I present Zero Mostel singing "If I Were a Rich Man" -- performed at a long-ago tony Awards ceremony, but still...


1 comment:

Suzanne said...

You know this is my soft spot. I was lucky enough to see Zero perform as Tevye in January 1978, just a few months before he died.

I do the same thing, anyone else performs it? I hear Zero instead.

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