Lin-Manuel Miranda

In moments of great upheaval Fiddler is always going to seem relevant because the world is changing faster than we can understand…And that’s what the show’s about and it’s intensely accessible because we are going through times of great change and great upheaval.

Lin-Manuel Miranda: Creator of “Hamilton” & “In The Heights”

The reason that Jerry Bock and Joe Stein and I wanted to do a musical based on the Tevye stories was that they’re such wonderful stories. They’re moving, they’re funny, they’re gripping, they’re dramatic, and what more do you want to a story as the basis for a musical?

Sheldon Harnick: Lyrist and co-creator of Fiddler on the Roof.

Sheldon Harnick
Hal Prince

The next meeting Jerry (Robbins) said, ‘Oh, by the way everybody, this is a huge job, I cannot choreograph it. Herbert Ross will choreograph it and I’ll direct it.’ And I said without pause, ‘Then we’re not producing it’ and you could feel Arthur Laurents, Lenny and Steve all just get really happy, you could feel happiness behind you in the room because Jerry backed down.

Hal Prince: Producer of the original Broadway production in 1964

The Holocaust looms over Fiddler on the Roof, there’s no way it couldn’t. The very idealization of the shtetl and the nostalgia for that destroyed life that emerges in the 1950s is precisely in response to what was finally obliterated in the Holocaust.

Alisa Solomon: Professor, Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, where she directs the Arts & Culture concentration in the MA program.  She is the author of “Wonder of Wonders: A Cultural History of Fiddler on the Roof.”

Alisa Solomon
Bartlett Sher

I would hear kids at intermission say, “What’s a pogrom?” and these are Jewish kids. The parents are using the opportunity of Fiddler to pass on the history and that’s interesting, that’s new, that’s kind of cool that a musical can pass down that kind of tradition as well as anything else.

Bartlett Sher: Resident Director at Lincoln Center Theater and Director of the most recent Broadway revival.

Bert (Convy) comes in and says, ‘Have you seen the line in front? The line goes all the way down the block.’ And we said, ‘No, what are you talking about?” and he said, ‘I think we’re in a hit!

Austin Pendleton: Played Motel in the original Broadway cast in 1964.

Austin Pendleton
Joanna Merlin

She (Tzeitel) was a kind of feminist. She had her own will and she had her own needs and her own ambitions. She was willing to face rejection. It was interesting to be the first one that actually had to struggle. They all had to struggle, but at least they tried and I think Tzeitel was the inspiration for that.

Joanna Merlin: Played Tevye’s daughter Tzeitel in the original Broadway cast in 1964.

Tevye is remarkable because the universal part of him, the human part of him, I think, stems from his relationship with his family and his love for his daughters.

Danny Burstein: Played Tevye in the most recent Broadway revival.

Danny Burstein
Kendall Bauer

I just think that it’s really cool that we’re doing this musical. It’s kind of like awareness for what’s going on in the world right now, for kids who may not know, …

Kendall Bauer: Played Golde in Middle School 447 production.

It’s always nice to have a kind of a sense of mystery about creativeness. There are certain things that you cannot teach. I suppose you can say what made them write this thing? Well, it was creativeness, inspiration. You know? A gift.

Itzhak Perlman: Violinist.

Itzhak Perlman
Charles Isherwood

Fiddler is really not just about violence that is visited on a single person but violence that is visited on an entire culture. Really it’s about what we now call ethnic cleansing, in the end, and these forces are still very much alive in the world. Bigotry, oppression, sometimes disguised as mere conservatism, it’s eerily and perhaps sadly relevant today.

Charles Isherwood: Former Theatre critic for the New York Times.

There is something more ephemeral and ethereal with shows like Fiddler on the Roof that just capture people’s fancy. One of the amazing things about Fiddler is that it seems to tap into sensibilities around the world. It is a show that production by production really continues to have a very strong impact.

Ted Chapin: Head of the Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization.

Ted Chapin
Jan Lisa Huttner

The changes that are taking place are all being instigated by the daughters. It’s the daughters that are driving the action. It’s us in the audience watching Tevye react and move forward in the conflicts that are presented by the daughters.

Jan Lisa Huttner: Author of “Tevye’s Daughters: No Laughing Matter” and “Diamond Fiddler: Laden with Happiness & Tears.”

When you are a young adult, you see yourself as one of the daughter’s who’s trying to break out into the world in your own way. As a parent you see the show completely differently and as an old person who’s seen it all you see it with that historical view and so it changes constantly, and it works.

Harvey Fierstein: Actor – performed Tevye on Broadway in 2005.

Harvey Fierstein
Featuring | Fiddler Film