Fiddler On The Roof Musical

Fiddler On The Roof Musical – Discussion Why Off-Broadway’s Fiddler on the Roof is the Most Authentic Production You’ll See Director Joel Gray’s National Yiddish People’s Theater production opens up a rich context for the classical ensemble.

In the Edmond J. Safra Hall inside the Museum of Jewish Heritage, there is a single word written in capital Hebrew letters on an old leather tablet: Torah. The Hebrew words of the Hebrew Bible are hanging above the carpet, and a smooth and bright light is hanging above it, as if to say, “Heed the word.”

Fiddler On The Roof Musical

Indeed, director Joel Gray assembles Fiddler on the Roof, a piece often performed at the National Yiddish Theater (NYTF), in an intimate, minimal version of the text.

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“He was inspired by the smallness [of the space],” says Zalmen Mlotek, NYTF’s artistic director and Fiddler’s musical director. “He approached it as a bedroom piece, stripped away all the glitz and glam of Broadway, and realized that just going to the context and the music was the way to make it different.”

This indifference of words is due to another important fact: This fiddle is played entirely in Yiddish. Fiddle was first performed in Yiddish in 1965 in Israel in a one-night stand translated by Shraga Friedman.

NYTF does all of its productions in Eastern European languages, and this time dairy farmer Tevye, his five daughters, and the entire community of Anatevka spoke the same language.

Ben Liebert, Stephen Skybell, Mary Illes, Rachel Zatkoff, Stephanie Lynn Mason, Rosie Jo Neddy, Raquel Nobile, Samantha Hahn, Daniel Kahn Victor Nechai / ProperPix

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“Russian Jews, especially at that time, spoke Russian as a second language when communicating with Russians,” explained Motl Didner, NYTF’s artistic director and Fiedler’s assistant director.

In working on this 1965 version of Friedman’s revised text, Mlotek, Didner, and Gray respected the authenticity of the language while respecting the emotional truth of Joseph Stein’s novel, Jerry Bock’s music, and lyrics. by Sheldon Harnick.

“The script is 98 percent as written by Shraga Friedman,” Didner said. All that is left is the changing of the words to balance the meaning with the rhythm and lyrics of the music. While working on the script, Didner and Mlotek said, “we always tried to respect Sheldon Harnick’s words.”

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Viewers of the piece may be surprised to learn that “Traditsye” (a strikingly similar word to the original “Tradition”) was actually “De Toira”. Harnick rejected the change.

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“He said, ‘I didn’t write that.’ This is not what I wrote. I wrote ‘culture,'” Mlotek recalled. “How rare is it to have a co-secretary? If he says he prefers another option, I have to respect that.” As an agreement, the company sings traditsye, but Didner and Mlotek talk about switching between traditsye and de toyrah in terms of the effect of deepening the conversation, historical accuracy, and the goals of the author.

Speaking of Sholom Aleichem’s early stories that inspired the character, Tevye’s famous solo “If I Were Rich” is now “Wen Ih Bin A Rothschild” (“If I Were a Rothschild”), degree of aspiration. the stick of the rich of the sun.

Here’s the beauty of this film: It’s a pure amalgamation of Sholom Aleichem’s original stories, music and stories by Bock, Harnick and Stein.

But strengthening their interpretation of Seyidi in this great work was only preparation for war. Didner and Mlotek screened 700 actors (double their usual audition group), conducted Yiddish tests and adaptations, and cast 27 actors. Before the performance, the directors meet with Didner for three hours each week for three weeks; he provided the actors with hours of full sound files (one slow version, one fast version).

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“You have to help them with their statements,” Didner said. “Which words are emphasized? What is being said that sounds Yiddish and not English?”

“They’re trying so hard at it, and they want to be — and they have to be,” said Skybell, who plays Tevye. “We really want to bring this Yiddish to Yiddish ears.”

That’s why this fiddle text format is NYTF in the first place. “We had three lines for each line: the translated Yiddish, underneath that was the actual Yiddish translation, and there was a translation of Broadway, and we can see the difference,” Skybell said.

“It made the actor connect with what he is saying and what other people are saying,” said Mlotek.

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Gray went ahead and narrated the roles of his actors in two languages. “We were going to do it in English [translation],” says Skybell, “so Joel would help us find the time without the language barrier. The actors live in the newer, more honest town of Anatevka, where they forced to conform to the literal meaning of the new text.

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“It was good for me to say, ‘This is not a comfortable Broadway line, but this is what I say in Yiddish,'” Skybell says. a common one.”

Since the violin became a new influence on Yiddish as a child, time was full of Skybell, as Tevye learned that his daughter, Chava, had married a non-Jew. “In the Yiddish translation, he says, ‘Chava is dead.’ There’s no Chava on Broadway. But then he says, “Let’s do shiva for him, as God commanded,” which isn’t on Broadway. In fact, Tevye starts saying the Kaddish (prayer of the mourners),’ Skybell he stops. ‘I respond to that very strongly.’

From Didner’s English and Russian supertitles, even die-hard Fiddle fans will notice this difference. “I was hoping that the differences would make you look at the show differently,” Didner said.

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“People can come in and get a lot out of it without reading the supertitles, but I think what’s really interesting is that what makes our work doubly unique is that if you read the supertitles, you will find.Fiddler A little different from the Broadway version, it goes through a different filter.

“It’s amazing to be able to speak the language that people speak,” Skybell said.

This speech made this fiddle a rich experience for performers like Skybell, but even more important for the audience. “What we’re finding in 2018 is that people are hungry for something more authentic and to look deeper into other people’s cultures,” Didner said. “The non-Jewish audience that comes receives it in a wonderful way, with a deep and vivid view of Jewish life.”

Thus, the Yiddish Fiddler breathed new life into the NYTF. “People said, ‘I don’t understand it.’ That was our problem [as a movie company],” said Mlotek. “With this show, they know a lot about the project and the show that they are interested in going to foreign language production.”

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Meanwhile, for the older Yiddish-speaking audience, Skybell thinks he and his company have a gift for them. “It would be a real win for people who might be the last game they see, and they can come and hear the language they grew up with for the last time, enjoy it and celebrate it.

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“I feel blessed to be able to immortalize Yiddish with something as ordinary as ‘Fiddler on the Roof.’

The National Yiddish Theatre’s “Fiddler on the Roof” plays through December 30. Click here for more information.

Fiddler on the Roof, the award-winning musical about the trials and tribulations of Ben Liebert, Stephen Skybell, Mary Illes, Rachel Zatkoff, Stephanie Lynn Mason, Rosie Jo Neddy, Raquel Nobile, Samantha Hahn and Daniel Kahn. “Faith and Love” runs December 14-19 at the Palace Theatre. Credit: Courtesy of Joan Marcus

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On Sunday, I’m giving a performance of Fiddler on the Roof, the first time since the outbreak.

I went to the last night of the play at the Palace Theater with my mother, who was the stage mother when I was in high school in a production of The Golden Role. He holds music close to his heart.

We chatted briefly about our memories as we found our seats and waited for the show to begin. There was excitement in the packed hall as the lights dimmed, the curtains opened and the train sounded.

As soon as Tevye (Yehezkel Lazarov) takes the violin or fiddle out of his mouth and the word “culture” falls, the palemonium stops, the outside world closes for two and a half hours, and the Columbia room is moved. population 1905 Anatevka.

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Many parts of the production were exactly as I remembered them, from the fiddler (Ali Arian Molaei) always on stage and talking directly to Tevye and the Constable (Jason Thomas Sofge).

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