National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene's seven-week return Off-Broadway engagement of the Drama Desk Award–winning Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish runs November 13, 2022-January 1 at New World Stages. The production of the classic musical is presented in Yiddish with English and Russian supertitles.
Oscar and Tony winner Joel Grey again directs with Steven Skybell returning to the role of Tevye, the milkman navigating family, faith, and changing traditions in the Russian shtetl of Anatevka. Skybell won a 2019 Lucille Lortel Award for his performance in the initial Off-Broadway run of the production.
Many of the performers from the 2018 production return to join Skybell, including Jennifer Babiak as Golde, Ben Liebert as Motl, Stephanie Lynne Mason as Hodl, Rosie Jo Neddy as Khave, Bruce Sabath as Leyzer-Volf, Drew Seigla as Pertshik, and Rachel Zatcoff as Tsaytl. They are joined by Lisa Fishman (On Second Avenue) as Yente and Michael Nigro (Friedrich in The Sound of Music Live!) as Fyedke.
The ensemble features a mix of returning and new artists, including Kirk Geritano as Avrom, Raquel Nobile as Shprintse, Jonathan Quigley as Chaim, Nick Raynor as Yosl, Adam B. Shapiro as Der Rov, Jodi Snyder as Beylke and Frume-Sore, James Monroe Števko as Mendl, Lauren Jeanne Thomas as Der Fidler, Bobby Underwood as Der Gradavoy, Mikhl Yashinsky as Nokhum/Mordkhe, Jonathan Cable as Sasha, Abby Goldfarb, Yael Eden Chanukov, and Ron Tal with swing John Giesige.
Choreography is by Jerome Robbins with musical staging and new choreography by Staś Kmieć. The production also features musical direction by Zalmen Mlotek, orchestrations by Larry Blank, scenic design by Tony winner Beowulf Boritt, costume design by Tony winner Ann Hould-Ward, lighting design by Tony winner Peter Kaczorowski, sound design Tony nominee Dan Moses Schreier, and hair/wig design by Drama Desk nominee Tom Watson.
Merete Muenter is associate director of the production, with NYTF Associate Artistic Director Motl Didner as associate director and supertitle designer. Veronica Aglow serves as production stage manager, with Kat West as production supervisor and Tinc Productions and Michael Costa making up the production management team. Jamibeth Margolis is the casting director.
Fiddler on the Roof features a book by Joseph Stein, based on stories by Sholem Aleichem, music by Jerry Bock, and lyrics by Sheldon Harnick. The Yiddish translation is by Shraga Friedman. The original 1964 Broadway production, produced by Harold Prince and directed and choreographed by Robbins, won nine Tony Awards, including Best Musical.
“The fictional Anatevka of Fiddler on the Roof is based on shtetls that were located outside of Kyiv in present-day Ukraine. We can’t help but think of the displaced residents of Anatevka while a new generation of refugees are fleeing their homeland due to the current crisis,” said NYTF Artistic Director Zalmen Mlotek in an earlier statement. “It seems like an appropriate moment for us to revisit this timeless show, and to experience its joy, sorrow, humor, and universal truths in this expressive translation that enriches the experience for all audiences, whether or not you know a word of Yiddish.”
The production from National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene was a surprise hit in summer 2018, when it began performances in a limited run at the Museum of Jewish Heritage downtown. The production extended four times before transferring to Stage 42, where it officially re-opened February 21, 2019. The Off-Broadway run then extended from June 30, 2019, to September 1, 2019, and then again to its final date: January 5, 2020.
Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish won the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Revival of a Musical, the Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Revival of a Musical, a New York Drama Critics Circle Special Citation, an Off-Broadway Alliance Award for Best Musical Revival, and a Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Musical for Skybell.
Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish is produced by National Yiddish Theater Folksbiene in association with Hal Luftig, Jana Robbins, LHC Theatrical, Jenny Steingart, Steven Chaikelson, Ruth Hendel, Braemar House Productions, Jamie deRoy & friends, Nina Korelitz Matza/Nicola Behrman, Anita Waxman/Martin H Borell, and The Shubert Organization in association with Sandy Block, Roy Gabay, executive producer.