Gershwin Theatre, (11/18/1990 - 6/16/1991)

First Preview: Nov 03, 1990
Opening Date: Nov 18, 1990
Closing Date: Jun 16, 1991
Total Previews: 18
Total Performances: 241

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 The Nederlander Organization (James M. Nederlander: Chairman; Robert E. Nederlander: President; Arthur Rubin: Vice-President)

Produced by Barry & Fran Weissler and PACE Theatrical Group, Inc.; Produced in association with C. Itoh & Co. Ltd., Tokyo Broadcasting System Intl., Inc. and A. Deshe (Pashanel); Associate Producer: Alecia Parker

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

Original production directed & choreographed by Jerome Robbins; Direction reproduced by Ruth Mitchell; Choreography reproduced by Sammy Dallas Bayes

Scenic Design by Boris Aronson; Costumes based on original designs by Patricia Zipprodt; Lighting Design by Ken Billington; Sound Design by Peter J. Fitzgerald; Hair Design by Robert DiNiro

General Manager: Charlotte Wilcox and Connie Weinstein; Company Manager: Constance Weinstein

Technical Supervisor: Arthur Siccardi; Production Stage Manager: Martin Gold; Stage Manager: David John O'Brien; Assistant Stage Mgr: Gwendolyn M. Gilliam

Sholom Aleichem's stories used by special permission of Arnold Perl; Musical Coordinator: John Monaco; Conducted by Milton Greene; Associate Conductor: Sheila Walker; Drums: John Gates; Bass: Joseph Russo; Guitar: Vin Bell; Trumpet: James Sedlar, Bud Burridge and Charles Affelt; Trombone: Porter Poindexter and Dean Plank; French Horn: Kaitilin Mahony and Leise Anschuetz; Reed: Helen Campo, Paul Gallo, Charles Millard, David Diggs and George Morera; Concert Master: Paul Woodiel; Mandolin: Paul Woodiel; Violin: Bernard Zeller, Nina Simon, Richard Henrickson and David Tobey; Viola: Sam Kephart; Cello: Gregorio Follari

Casting: Stuart Howard and Amy Schecter; General Press Representative: Shirley Herz Associates and Miller Wright; Dance Captain: Newton Cole; Advertising: Serino Coyne, Inc.

Opening Night Cast

the Dairyman
Marcia LewisGolde
Brian ArsenaultRussian Dancer
Michael BerresseRussian Dancer
Ron BohmerFyedka
A Russian
Joanne BortsEnsemble
Stacey Lynn BrassEnsemble
Lisa CartmellEnsemble
Kenneth M. DaigleBottle Dancer
Judy DoddBielke
Tevye's daughter
David EnriquezBottle Dancer
Michael J. FarinaNachum
the Beggar
Craig GahnzBottle Dancer
Brian HenryRussian Dancer
Todd HeughensEnsemble
Ruth JaroslowYente
the Matchmaker
Jerry JarrettAvram
The Bookseller
Keith KeenBottle Dancer
Jack KennyMotel
the Tailor
Sharon LawrenceTzeitel
Tevye's daughter
David MastersMordcha
the Inkeeper
Jerry MatzRabbi
Panchali NullShandel
Motel's mother
Mike O'CarrollConstable
David PevsnerMendel
the Rabbi's son
Jennifer PrescottChava
Tevye's daughter
Tia RieblingHodel
Tevye's daughter
Marty RossEnsemble
Jeri SagerFruma-Sarah
Gary SchwartzPerchik
the Student
Kathy St. GeorgeShprintze
Tevye's daughter
Grandma Tzeitel
Beth ThompsonEnsemble
Lou WillifordEnsemble
Stephen WrightThe Fiddler
Mark ZellerLazar Wolf
the Butcher

Swings: Newton Cole and Chris Jamison

Standby: Mark Zeller (Tevye)

Understudies: Stacey Lynn Brass (Bielke, Chava, Shprintze), Lisa Cartmell (Tzeitel), Newton Cole (Nachum), Judy Dodd (Grandma Tzeitel), David Enriquez (The Fiddler), Brian Henry (Fyedka), Todd Heughens (Mendel), Keith Keen (Perchik), David Masters (Rabbi), Mike O'Carroll (Lazar Wolf), David Pevsner (Motel), Marty Ross (Avram, Constable, Mordcha), Beth Thompson (Hodel) and Lou Williford (Golde, Yente)

Awards and Nominations

Tony Award®

 1991 Best Actor in a Musical [nominee] 


winner 1991 Best Revival [winner] 

Produced by Barry & Fran Weissler and PACE Theatrical Group, Inc.


music by Jerry Bock; lyrics by Sheldon Harnick

ACT 1 Sung By
TraditionTevye (the Dairyman) and The Villagers
Matchmaker, MatchmakerTzeitel (Tevye's daughter), Hodel (Tevye's daughter) and Chava (Tevye's daughter)
If I Were a Rich ManTevye (the Dairyman)
Sabbath PrayerTevye (the Dairyman), Golde and The Villagers
To LifeTevye (the Dairyman), Lazar Wolf (the Butcher) and The Men
Miracle of MiraclesMotel (the Tailor)
The DreamTevye (the Dairyman), Golde, Grandma Tzeitel, Fruma-Sarah and The Villagers
Sunrise, SunsetTevye (the Dairyman), Golde and The Villagers
Wedding DanceThe Villagers
ACT 2 Sung By
Now I Have EverythingPerchik (the Student) and Hodel (Tevye's daughter)
Do You Love Me?Tevye (the Dairyman) and Golde
The RumorYente (the Matchmaker) and The Villagers
Far From the Home I LoveHodel (Tevye's daughter)
ChavalehTevye (the Dairyman)
AnatevkaThe Villagers
EpilogueThe Entire Company


New York Daily News: "Tradition! 'Fiddler' remains irresistible"

By now, everyone must have heard the story about how difficult it was, almost 30 years ago, to find backers for "Fiddler on the Roof."

"After all the Hadassah ladies have seen it, then what?" a skeptical backer asked Joseph Stein, whose idea "Fiddler" was. Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick, who wrote the music and lyrics, were so discouraged they set "Fiddler" aside and wrote "She Loves Me" before they decided to try again.

Watching this wonderfully enjoyable revival, you see that the hesitant "angels" had a point. It was brave to imagine, in the year "Hello, Dolly!" opened, that audiences might want to see a musical in which the chorus consisted of impoverished Jews: Men in shabby work clothes or Sabbath caftans; women in babushkas and heavy skirts that would not show much in the way of what used to be called "gams."

"Fiddler" was audacious for other reasons. It was written at a time when Jews were happily assimilated into American life and not eager to explore the poverty, the rigid religious traditions they had cast aside.

But by recreating the world of Eastern European Jewry, Stein, Bock, Harnick and their demanding collaborator, Jerome Robbins, touched a nerve that has had reverberations all around the world. The show is about Tevye's daughters, unwitting feminists, who elude various, seemingly unbreakable traditions. Tevye's world is also crushed by the forces of hate outside it.

As the show ends, Tevye and his family are on their way to America, the forebears of many who sit in the audience, but forebears also to people around the world who see the ways of their fathers being turned topsy-turvy.

Topol, who played Tevye in the film, makes his Broadway debut here. His accent is that of Jews of the East End of London rather than the lower East Side of New York. That and his very nasal voice sometimes make him seem off-putting.

But he has great warmth and a keen sense of the abundant humor of the role. He makes musical use of his resonant voice by singing softly, which points up the grace and delicacy of Bock and Harnick's work. He dances with abandon, and though the vigorous way he shakes his body sometimes seems more showbiz than Hasidic piety, his Tevye, particularly in the scenes with his difficult daughters, is deeply touching.

He has a splendid partner in Marcia Lewis, who mines the comedy in the role but never reduces the shrewish Golde to a caricature. Sharon Lawrence, Tia Riebling and Jennifer Prescott, as their chief daughters, play their roles with conviction and sing beautifully. Jack Kenny, Gary Schwartz and Ron Bohmer are strong as their suitors.

Ruth Jaroslaw is very funny as Yente the matchmaker, and I have never heard a more musical Fruma-Sarah than Jeri Sager. At times the production shows it's been on the road for a year, but the material is so powerful it's hard to resist.

New York Daily News

New York Post: "Topol Tops As Tevye, But Less Than Zero"

Incredibly now, after a quarter of a century, the Jerry Bock/Sheldon Harnick/Joseph Stein musical "Fiddler on the Roof" has become virtually as much a part of the Yiddish-Jewish heritage as the Sholem Aleichem stories of Tevye the Milkman that inspired it.

I still vividly recall first hearing about "Fiddler." It was 1963. Jerome Robbins was passing through London, where I was living at the time, and having time to kill at the airport he gave me a call. I asked him what he was doing, and he said he was thinking about a Broadway musical based on Sholem Aleichem.

It struck me as a terrible idea - although I hope I kept my draining lack of enthusiasm out of my voice. And the rest is Broadway history. Well, nobody's perfect. Not even critics.

For my generation there will probably be only one Tevye - Zero Mostel. I know all the problems - and at least one of the performances I saw him give was, how can I put it? more freestyle than a disciplined actor would have wished. But he was always smearily, blearily wonderful.

And Topol? Yes, I saw him on the stage in London in 1967 - and he was all right, and he was definitely rather more than all right in the movie version in 1971. But he didn't outscore Zero.

Now making, surprisingly, his Broadway debut in the musical's 25th Anniversary revival at the Gershwin Theater officially opening last night, he still doesn't dislodge memories of Mostel (or quite of a few of the other Tevyes over the years) but now he doesn't have to. He is his own man and his own Tevye.

His voice is darker now than I recall it, and this time I was disconcertingly aware of his slightly British enunciation - rather upper-class British at that, reminding one of certain Israeli politicians - for I always, quite unreasonably, expect Tevye to sound as if he came from the Lower East Side.

But the performance is a total joy - wise, warm, resourceful, full of a wary fun, with a wonderful feeling for his God, his wife, his daughters, his village and his people. Much less of a caricature than Mostel, of all the many Tevyes I have seen this one comes closest to fiction's reality.

The production is a reproduction of the original Jerome Robbins by Ruth Mitchell and Sammy Dallas Bayes - and frankly looks it. It lacks the spontaneity of an original. The performances, Topol apart, are really nothing more than adequately routine, and the show looks as though it's on tour - which fundamentally it is.

Even the Boris Aronson scenery - always quite effective in its imitatively sub-Chagall fashion - looks a little more seedy than before, although the cleverly designed costumes by Patricia Zipprodt remain a real pleasure.

Why do most of these Broadway revivals always try so diligently to put the clock back? Why not start from scratch with a new director (say, Jonathan Miller), new designers, and a fresh cast freed from the responsibility of trying to fit into earlier people's footsteps?

Then we could have a "Fiddler on the Roof" for the '90s. This is just one that has more or less survived from the '60s, and is worth seeing again more for Topol than for anything else.

New York Post

Replacement/Transfer Info

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

Gershwin Theatre

(11/18/1990 - 6/16/1991)


Gerry Burkhardt
James Horvath
the Beggar
(Feb 5, 1991 - ?)
Gary John La Rosa
Villager (Mar 29, 1991 - Apr 28, 1991)
the Hatmaker
(Mar 29, 1991 - Apr 28, 1991)

Swings: James Horvath.

Understudies: Gary John La Rosa (Mendel), Jeffrey Wilkins (Constable).

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