Town Hall raises the roof to honor Fiddler on the Roof’s 50th birthday, composer Sheldon Harnick’s 90th, Folksbein Theater celebrates 100th
Harnick accepting Award from Chita Rivera photos by Maryann Lopinto
Hall raises the roof to honor Fiddler on the Roof’s 50th birthday,
composer Sheldon Harnick’s 90th, Folksbein Theater celebrates 100th
National Yiddish Theatre – Folksbiene is in its 100th season and
celebrated that milestone along with 50 years of Fiddler on the Roof and
the 90th birthday of Tony and Pulitzer Prize winning lyricist Sheldon Harnick.
Based upon the stories of Sholem Aleichem, Jerry Bock, Joseph Stein and
Sheldon Harnick wrote ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ which turned out to be a mega hit
that has played all over the world and been revived many times. This theatrical
masterpiece opened on Broadway in September 1964 at the Imperial Theatre and
has become one of the longest running Broadway musicals of all time. A
very successful film was made in 1971 directed by Norman Jewison who could not
attend due to travel problems.
Topol who starred in the film was there to sing an acapella rendition of “If I
Were a Rich Man.”
Gala celebration at Town Hall, co-conceived and co-directed by Gary John La
Rosa and Erik Liberman,
daughters from the past singing “Matchmaker”
many of the female members of former casts who came on stage to sing “Matchmaker”
and later “Tradition.” The renowned violinist Joshua Bell performed with the
orchestra (under the musical direction of Zalmen Mlotek) as the Fiddler. Ido
Aharoni, the Consul General of Israel in NY, spoke eloquently about what this
show meant to the Jewish people and creating understanding.
Prince made a filmed tribute to open and a clip was shown of Zero Mostel, the
original Tevye, performing a song from one of his one-man shows. Chita Rivera,
the director Jerry Zaks as well as film maven Jeffrey Lyons (who is Sheldon’s
cousin) talked about what the show meant to them.
of the many highlights of the evening was Andrea Martin and Sheldon Harnick
performing “Do You Love Me?”
it was a showstopper! Mike Burstyn and Fyvush Finkel performed the scene in
Yiddish with Lazar Wolf talking to Tevya about marrying his daughter. The
translation was put up on the screen and it was sensational.
Kaufman,the 103 year old granddaughter of Sholem Aleichem and author of “Up The
Down Staircase, was set to appear but took a fall recently.
Zedora and the cast at the finale
The National Yiddish Theater has been working on this “Triple
Tribute” evening for over two years and it turned out to be a remarkable
accomplishment. NYT was founded in 1915 and will be celebrating its centenary
next year in 2015. It is the longest continuously-producing Yiddish theatre
company in the world and its mission is to “celebrate the Jewish experience
through the performing arts and to transmit a rich cultural legacy to youth and
adults in exiting new ways.”
For more info on NYT – Visit: