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Fiddler at 50
Fiddler at 50Sunday, April 6, 2014 to Monday, April 7, 2014
Happy Birthday to Fiddler on the Roof!
The musical Fiddler on the Roof debuted on stage at the Imperial Theatre on Broadway in 1964, making 2014 its fiftieth anniversary.
Fiddler on the Roof was written by Joseph Stein, with music and lyrics by Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick. The original production featured Broadway legends Zero Mostel as Tevye and Bea Arthur as Yente the Matchmaker.
In the decades since, it has become an undisputed cultural icon. It won nine Tony Awards, spawned four Broadway revivals, and became the first musical production in history to surpass 3,000 performances. Along with the film version that followed, Fiddler on the Roof has become global and cross-cultural, from rural U.S. high schools to the Toyko stage and from scholarly studies to The Simpsons.
In celebration of Fiddler on the Roof’s 50th anniversary, Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership presented a trio of special programs and a range of resources. See the sidebar at right for details.
Spertus Institute Director of Programming Beth Schenker says that the 50th anniversary of Fiddler provided wonderful opportunities for exploration. "You don’t have to be Jewish to love Fiddler," she said. "Its themes are universal. It speaks about changing circumstances, family dynamics, and the tension between old and new."