Tevye is a Jewish father and milkman with five daughters living in the village of Anatevka, Russia. This well-known and beloved musical explored the traditions of faith and family with favorite songs like “If I Were a Rich Man,” “Matchmaker, Matchmaker,” “Tradition,” and “Sunrise Sunset.” Come see a fresh and authentic version of this masterpiece at the Eccles Theater on January 21 through 26. But before you see the show, read on for a few facts you may not have known:
- The title of the show and original set design were inspired b Marc Chagall’s painting, “The Fiddler.” Without this inspiration, some of the discarded possible show titles were “Where Papa Came From” and “The Old Country.”
- The original Broadway production premiered in 1964. It was directed by Jerome Robbins and was nominated for 10 Tony awards, winning 9 of them: Best Musical, Best Actor (Tevye, played by Zero Mostel), Best Book, Best Choreography, Best Costume Design, Best Director, Best Producers, Best Score and Best Featured Actress (Golde, played by Maria Karnilova).
- Fiddler on the Roof was the first Broadway musical to pass 3,000 performances and held the record for the longest-running musical on Broadway for 10 years. It has also received 5 Broadway revivals.
- The movie version came out in 1971 to critical acclaim. Chaim Topol, the actor who played Tevye, was an Israeli actor who was discovered when playing Tevye in Tel Aviv. He learned English by studying the script of “Fiddler on the Roof.”
- The story is based on Sholem Aleichem’s stories “Tevye the Dairyman.” Aleichem was known as the “Jewish Mark Twain.” When Aleichem and Twain met, Twain asked that he be referred to as the “American Sholem Aleichem.” Like Mark Twain, he was using a pen name and in Hebrew, it means “peace be with you.”