New York State Theatre, (7/09/1981 - 8/23/1981)

Opening Date: Jul 09, 1981
Closing Date: Aug 23, 1981
Total Previews: 3
Total Performances: 53

Category: Musical, Comedy, Drama, Revival, Broadway
Setting: Anatevka, a small village in Russia. 1905, on the eve of the Russian Revolution.

Opening Night Production Staff

Theatre Owned / Operated by Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Inc.

Produced by Eugene V. Wolsk and James M. Nederlander; Associate Producer: Stella Saltonstall and Cheryl Raab

Originally produced by Harold S. Prince

Book by Joseph Stein; Music by Jerry Bock; Lyrics by Sheldon Harnick; Based on stories by Sholom Aleichem; Musical Director: Richard Vitzhum; Music orchestrated by Don Walker; Vocal arrangements by Milton Greene; Dance arrangements by Betty Walberg

Directed by Jerome Robbins; Choreographed by Jerome Robbins; Associate Director: Ruth Mitchell; Choreography reproduced by Tom Abbott

Scenic Design by Boris Aronson; Costume Design by Patricia Zipprodt; Lighting Design by Ken Billington; Hair Design by Patrik D. Moreton

General Manager: Charles A. Eisler

Production Stage Manager: Ed Preston; Stage Manager: Sally Hassenfelt

Sholom Aleichem's stories used by special permission of Arnold Perl; Musical Supervisor: Kevin Farrell; Musical Coordinator: Marty Grupp

Assistant to Mr. Robbins & Ms. Mitchell: Stephen Helper

National Public Relations Director: Alpert / LeVine; Press Associate: Mark Goldstaub; Casting: Mary Jo Slater; Dance Captain: Vito Durante; Advertising: SHOBIZADS; Photographer: Roger Greenawalt; Additional casting by Cheryl Raab

[See More]

Opening Night Cast

Herschel BernardiTevye
the Dairyman
Maria KarnilovaGolde
Eydie AlysonBielke
Tevye's daughter
Fyvush FinkelMordcha
the Inkeeper
Jay FoxThe Fiddler
Paul E. HartConstable
Lori Ada JaroslowTzeitel
Tevye's daughter
Ruth JaroslowYente
the Matchmaker
Liz LarsenChava
Tevye's daughter
Ken Le RoyMendel
the Rabbi's son
Paul LipsonLazar Wolf
the Butcher
Alvin MyerovichRabbi
Donalyn PetrucciHodel
Tevye's daughter
Tog RichardsAvram
The Bookseller
Joel RobertsonFyedka
A Russian
Susan SheppardShprintze
Tevye's daughter
Grandma Tzeitel
Michelan SistiMotel
the Tailor
Ralph VucciNachum
the Beggar
James WernerPerchik
the Student
Bradford DunawayFruma-Sarah
A Russian
Jimmy FerraroEnsemble
Michael FogartyEnsemble
Margo F. GruberEnsemble
Michael LaneEnsemble
Mark ManleyEnsemble
Elaine ManzelEnsemble
Joyce MartinFruma-Sarah
Bess MeislerShandel
Motel's mother
Robert ParolaEnsemble
Thomas ScaliseEnsemble
Charles SpoerriEnsemble
Marsha TamaroffEnsemble
Susan TilsonEnsemble
Tim TobinEnsemble
Stephen WrightYussel
the Hatmaker
Robert YackoEnsemble

Swings: Frank Colardo and Debra Timmons

Standby: Paul Lipson (Tevye)

Understudies: Eydie Alyson (Grandma Tzeitel, Shprintze), Jimmy Ferraro (Nachum, Rabbi), Fyvush Finkel (Lazar Wolf), Margo F. Gruber (Fruma-Sarah), Mark Manley (Mendel), Bess Meisler (Golde, Yente), Robert Parola (The Fiddler), Tog Richards (Mordcha), Charles Spoerri (Constable), Susan Tilson (Hodel), Debra Timmons (Bielke, Chava, Tzeitel), Timothy Tobin (Fyedka), Ralph Vucci (Avram), Stephen Wright (Motel) and Robert Yacko (Fyedka, Perchik)

Awards and Nominations

Tony Award®

 1982 Best Actor in a Musical [nominee] 

Herschel Bernardi


music by Jerry Bock; lyrics by Sheldon Harnick

ACT 1 Sung By
TraditionFull Company
Matchmaker, MatchmakerChava (Tevye's daughter), Hodel (Tevye's daughter) and Tzeitel (Tevye's daughter)
If I Were a Rich ManTevye (the Dairyman)
Sabbath PrayerFamily and Villagers
To LifeLazar Wolf (the Butcher), Tevye (the Dairyman) and Village Men
Miracle of MiraclesMotel (the Tailor)
The Tailor, Motel KamzoilTevye (the Dairyman), Golde, Grandma Tzeitel, Fyedka (A Russian) and The Villagers
Sunrise, SunsetFamily and Villagers
Wedding DanceThe Villagers
ACT 2 Sung By
Now I Have EverythingHodel (Tevye's daughter) and Perchik (the Student)
Do You Love Me?Golde and Tevye (the Dairyman)
I Just HeardYente (the Matchmaker) and The Villagers
Far From the Home I LoveHodel (Tevye's daughter)
AnatevkaTevye (the Dairyman), Golde, Yente (the Matchmaker), Lazar Wolf (the Butcher), Mendel (the Rabbi's son) and Avram (The Bookseller)
EpilogueThe Entire Company


New York Daily News: "'Fiddler': still a happy song"

Anatevka isn't Shangri-la or even Brigadoon: it's better than both - real people live there. Vanishing into the countryside dust stirred by the gathering storms of early 20th Century Russia, the hamlet lingers in our hearts and minds. When "Fiddler on the Roof," which returned last night at the State Theater (I caught a preview) first opened, never to close - has there ever been a period when these villagers haven't been milling about somewhere - my wife found its story so enthralling that she declared it hardly needed songs to go with it. But in its totality this is a classic musical, and as a summer attraction at Lincoln Center it's utterly captivating.

Herschel Bernardi, who has been playing Tevye off and on since the village milkman didn't have songs (he was here and on the road in the early '50s in "The World of Sholem Aleichem"), is starred in the role he inherited from the late Zero Mostel during the Broadway run and which he held for two years to be succeeded by practically everybody except Barbra Streisand, and he is perhaps the most authentic Tevye of them all.

Without the huge, commanding presence of Mostel in the lead (though it's unlikely that even he could have been so all-encompassing in this vast theater), the excellence of the show as a whole is more evident, particularly the rare value and beauty of Jerome Robbins' choreography and overall direction.

In spite of some easy gags, Joseph Stein's shrewd alteration of the Aleichem stories is a model of musical-book writing, and the songs of Jerry Bock (music) and Sheldon Harnick (lyrics) are enchanting. "Matchmaker, Matchmaker," "If I Were a Rich Man" and "Do You Love Me" remain show-stoppers, but the loveliest of the lot is still "Sunrise, Sunset," which also introduces the wedding scene and subsequent wedding dance that comprise the evening's most stunning sequence.

Robbins' magic is everywhere, making the long and rueful comedy, in which bursts of sorrow and of joy tumble one over the other, dance by like a dream. And in perfect harmony with it are the late Boris Aronson's fanciful set designs and Patricia Zipprodt's imaginative but never overstated costumes, both recreated from the original production. Ken Billington's lighting design is equally complementary.

Maria Karnilova, who created the part of Golde and won a Tony for it, is once more Tevye's efficient, sharp-tongued, understanding wife. Ruth Jaroslow, who has played Yente, the village matchmaker, in practically all the New York productions, is back again and, I would say, indispensable. Though it's unfair to omit any names from the large and able cast, I must say how much I enjoyed the work of Lori Ada Jaroslow (Tzeitel), Donalyn Petrucci (Hodel) and Liz Larsen (Chaza) as the three principal daughters, and of Michelan Sisti (Motel), James Werner (Perchik) and Joel Robertson (Fyedka) as their respective swains. And Paul Lipson (Bernardi's standby) and Alvin Myerovich are back in their original roles of Lazar, the butcher, and the village rabbi. "Fiddler," as you can see, has become almost a lifetime career for many of these people.

With its sense of the changes in the air in 1905 Russian society, at a time when the great Jewish emigration to America was reaching flood tide, "Fiddler" remains an unusually compelling musical play, and for the time being the State Theater has been turned into a heartwarming shtetl.

New York Daily News

Replacement/Transfer Info

The following people are credited as replacements or additions if they were not credited on opening night.

New York State Theatre

(7/9/1981 - 8/23/1981)


Lawrence Leritz
the Hatmaker
Steven Minning
Kathy St. George
Tevye's daughter

Understudies: Lawrence Leritz (Motel), Steven Minning (Fyedka).

View full site