Experience 'Fiddler on the Roof' in a new way – in Yiddish, the language of Tevye and his family. Oscar and Tony Award-winner Joel Grey directs this production, presented with English and Russian supertitles. More…
The Yiddish translation by Shraga Friedman adds depth and dimension to the most well-known Jewish musical in the world, the beloved story of a community and its struggle to balance traditions and desires in a changing world.
“National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene’s ‘Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish’ breathes fresh life into a treasured property from the golden age of musical comedy, forcing audiences to interact anew with what is now one of the most well-known and performed musicals of all time, and providing, in return, a host of vital performances and resonant insights. It is, in short, a revelation. See it, or regret it.” Full Review
"The definitive production...In other productions, and all have been first rate, you felt you were watching a musical. Here I honestly felt that I was in their small town watching the actual inhabitants...While the show always had its share of hilarious and moving moments here it is performed with such robust dedication you feel you are watching the show for the first time...In its own way it has a fresh incandescent feel thanks to both Grey and the cast." Full Review
"Directed with a golden touch by Joel Grey...this production is nothing short of a masterpiece. Many elements of the show are better than Broadway...Skybell marvelously gives us an everyman version of Tevye, perfectly blending the stern and humorous parts of the character...Skybell’s humility gives the show a unique intimacy and the production hugs you like a warm blanket. The result is the feeling that this is not simply a show; it is our history. And it is a great present." Full Review
“‘Fiddler On The Roof’ in Yiddish is brilliant...Original ravishing Robbins choreography modified only in scale. Orchestra of 12 and it was first rate. A minimalist set...The translation is projected...though not many needed it. My guest didn’t even bother to follow it–not necessary...Hearing this show in the mother tongue of the characters was unspeakably beautiful, soulful and, at times, gut-wrenching. We were both dishrags after it.” Full Review
"Folksbiene’s version has a purity and emotional accessibility that makes up for its modest production values...The singers have excellent voices and the dancers are absolutely first-rate. Staś Kmieć works wonders staging the Robbins-inspired dances and just moving the large cast around on a small stage...Steven Skybell plays Tevye more as an everyman than a larger-than-life figure, which I think works very well...The multitalented Joel Grey directs with complete assurance." Full Review
"Transcendent new production of the classic musical brings us closer to Tevye, Golde, and the good, pious citizens of Anatevka than we've ever been before...Even if you don't understand what the actors are saying, once the 15-piece orchestra strikes up those familiar melodies, you won't even need to look at the supertitles. The result is an intensely moving experience...It's a well-balanced staging that goes for the emotional guts but doesn't sacrifice the musical comedy." Full Review
“The fascinating new staging from The National Yiddish Theatre is a time-bending musical. Spoken and sung in Yiddish, this 'Fiddler'...feels like an ancient version newly unearthed...The language, stagecraft and Grey’s smooth direction all conspire to transform the work into a bible story...The changes Friedman fiddles with, to accommodate the musicality of Yiddish...are sometimes charming and at other times mind blowing." Full Review
"It took me awhile to establish the right rhythm of reading and watching. But once that kicked in, I was transported...I marveled at how perfect a musical 'Fiddler on the Roof' is...This revival's success is mainly due to the direction of Joel Grey. Having his production performed in Yiddish, the language that Fiddler's characters would have spoken, obviously helps. But Grey also walks the talk and he has brought out every ounce of the underlying melancholy in this story." Full Review
"If you know Yiddish, it is, without question, a must-see. And if you have any hesitation about attending a three-hour show in a language you don’t speak, let me assuage your concerns immediately. You don’t have to be of any particular linguistic base, ethnicity, or religious affiliation to comprehend the beauty and significance of this work or to be touched by the characters and their story; you just have to be human...Everything is this production bespeaks accuracy and authenticity." Full Review
“Dazzling...Directed with verve and style by Tony and Oscar winner Grey...The Yiddish version offers neat little twists on the language...and reconfigures numerous lines to match the rhythm and meaning in Yiddish...Excellent cast...Could have felt dated and old-fashioned, instead is very much of the moment in the wake of the immigrant and refugee crisis currently going on in America and around the world...Another big hit for the talented troupe.” Full Review
“Theodore Bikel would have approved...An authentic and, at times, extraordinarily moving experience...A Broadway-class production with beautiful staging and choreography...and an excellent 12-piece stage orchestra...The show’s authenticity makes this not only the most authentic rendition of the show but places it into the pantheon of must-see theater for all.” Full Review
“Although it's a slight bother to read the supertitles (in English and Russian)…it's worth the effort to hear the familiar characters…speak and sing the actual language they would have used in 1905 Anetekva, Russia. This is especially true as delivered with remarkable fluency by a 27-member ensemble…The musical staging and choreography…are adapted from the original creations of Jerome Robbins for the reduced cast and smaller stage but lose little of their imaginative verve.” Full Review
"The first Yiddish-language production of the musical in the United States. It’s about time...The Folksbiene production of 'Fiddler' is as entertaining as any I’ve seen...All the performers have great voices, and this Fiddler has an advantage that the Broadway 'Fiddlers' don’t match. The surtitles assure that nobody who can read English (or Russian) misses a single word." Full Review
“Though it features a Broadway-quality Tevye...and, for Off Broadway, a high level of professionalism throughout, the Folksbiene production cannot achieve the status and polish of mass entertainment. Rather, it offers a kind of authenticity no other American ‘Fiddler’ ever has: It’s in Yiddish...Couldn’t sound more right...Outside of the big numbers, it is not as suave as it might be...But when the production hitches a ride on the astonishing craft of the original, it is often thrilling." Full Review
"A more intimate experience in the small auditorium at the Museum of Jewish Heritage. The result is not a diminishment. The production staged with love and professionalism...creates a sense of a community...Skybell conveys the full range of Tevye’s reactions to the eroding of his beloved Old World traditions as they give way to 20th century shifts....Each member of the company becomes a full-fleshed citizen of Anavetka." Full Review
"It’s a mitzvah that the century-old National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene has resurrected this version, which lets the characters speak (and sing) in the expressive guttural tongue they would have used in real life...The characters' emotional journeys are so clear you may find yourself abandoning the oddly placed supertitles to luxuriate in the sound of the language and the klezmer-inflected score...Here’s hoping Folksbeine’s Yiddish 'Fiddler' becomes a new tradition." Full Review
"Despite a large cast and an ample auditorium at the Museum of Jewish Heritage, Grey's take on this musical theater treasure is more intimate than recent productions, starting with a stage set that consists mainly of several large, wrinkled cloths hanging from the rafters, dividing the downstage area from the reduced-force orchestra playing Jerry Bock's music with panache and understanding ethnic color as conducted by Zalmen Mlotek." Full Review
"Grey sensitively gleans the right amount of comedy and drama, and knockabout humor and gnarlier pathos, from the text without overindulging any extreme...Feels like an honoring reclamation of a version of 'Fiddler,' and its real-life historical context in the Russian Pale of Settlement, rather than anything dramatically opportunistic or theatrically kitschy...The most exuberant and fabulous dance sequences this critic has seen in New York in months." Full Review
"The production is deftly directed by Joel Grey with exciting musical staging and culturally influenced choreography by Stas Kmiec. Oh, what a production it is!...Freeing itself from the burden of extravagance, it manifests a certain reality that pulls the audience in, so they become a part of the tightknit community...The entire twenty-six-member cast is wonderful and works diligently to reach the core of this story in the native Yiddish language which proves to authenticate the time and pla... Full Review
"NYTF's excellent Yiddish production as directed by Joel Grey and performed by his fine cast cast gives us no major revelations about the musical. However, it does make us fall in love with Tevye, his wife, Golde, and his three daughters all over again...This staging brilliantly emphasizes the sorrow that colors the lives of the people...Skybell is warm and funny and philosophical and...well... everything we want this long-suffering milkman to be. What's more, Hoffman is priceless as Yente." Full Review
"What makes Grey’s production extra-extraordinary is that he has found the perfect balance between the show’s comedy and tragedy...Stephen Skybell is a splendid Tevye, especially in his scenes with Lazer-Volf...Seldom has a Golde been as tender as Mary Illes...Hoffman is giving us a finely tuned, completely restrained and – most important of all — utterly human performance." Full Review
"Tevye and the shtetl-dwellers of Anatevke sing 'Traditsye.' It couldn’t have sounded more perfect...There were moments that felt less like a musical and more like a séance. The suspension of disbelief went far beyond 'the stage is reality' to 'this auditorium is now a time machine'...Comedian Jackie Hoffman kills as Yente the Matchmaker." Full Review
"The current relevance of 'Fiddler on the Roof' is apparent, and registers with new immediacy in the age of Trump...The language of the lost world, bountifully expressive, is the appropriate framework for a show that revives a little-commented upon feature of that world. Through the efforts of the Folksbiene and its fellows, Yiddish is experiencing something of a contemporary resurgence." Full Review
"Under the circumstances, a deeply moving musical theatre classic acquires an even greater emotional intensity...If Grey's staging occasionally feels a little cramped -- especially in the more exuberant musical numbers -- the fine bones of Stein's book are prominently on display...Grey's direction shows a deep understanding of the community's pious way of life and he achieves some striking effects...Under Mlotek's baton, the score sounds lovely, even with reduced orchestrations." Full Review
"Aside from being performed in Yiddish, this is not so different from a well-acted regional theater production of 'Fiddler'...The production values are minimal, with no scenery except for a few hanging banners and basic props. A 12-piece orchestra sits at the back of the stage. Even though the space is rather cramped, the original Jerome Robbins dance choreography is efficiently reproduced." Full Review
See it if This was a wonderful production in Yiddish with English subtitles. It was a pleasure to see theatre professionals perform without a star.
Don't see it if I can't believe that anyone would not like this show.
See it if you want to see a really creative and well done production of a classic show. The use of Yiddish makes the show enveloping.
Don't see it if you don't like Fiddler on the Roof.
See it if Wonderful interpretation of a much revived musical. Less schtick from Tevya, less playing for laughs. Beautifully sung, danced.
Don't see it if You want a fancy set, complete adherence to English lyrics, or a Zero Mostel-like performance.
See it if you love musicals with great singing and a twist! Sung in Yiddish — which enhanced an authentic experience. Easy to follow
Don't see it if you don’t appreciate musicals with great plot and great singing and great dancing.
See it if If you want to see a classic musical that reaches new heights of emotional brilliance performed in "Mama Loschen".
Don't see it if If you are turned off to reading subtitles.
See it if You are even remotely a Fiddler fan! This was BY FAR the most moving, beautiful production of Fiddler I've ever seen.
Don't see it if 1. You hate Fiddler 2. You are an anti-Semite. Other than that.....stunning.
See it if You want to experience a masterful performance of an iconic musical in its intended language. The viewer is thus more able to identify with
Don't see it if You have trouble reading English translation which could be a distraction throughout the performance.
See it if Great singing, dancing, staging of an old favorite brought to new life and light through presentation in Yiddish. Great in every way.
Don't see it if You hate Fiddler and/or don’t like to have to look at the translation while a show is performed in another language.
See it if you love Fiddler, Yiddish or daring theatricality. Poignant, human, intimate; Shalom Aleichem characters returned to their native tongue.
Don't see it if you don't like reading super-titles in order to understand the text. Someone new to Fiddler might prefer to see the movie first ...
Also Bring tissues.
See it if You love the show in general but want to experience the authenticity that this production gives the material.
Don't see it if You are tired of this show in any format. But you should try anyway.
See it if You're curious about Jewish life and culture before they were thrown out of their villages, Amazing singing, dancing, acting and set.
Don't see it if If the idea of reading supertitles annoys you. Or you're a curmudgeon,
See it if you love Fiddler and you want a unique experience seeing it done in Yiddish (with supertitles in English and Russian).
Don't see it if you can't stand dealing with supertitles (like at the opera)
See it if You do not tire of seeing Fiddler and want to experience a different take on this priceless musical.
Don't see it if I cannot think of any reasons NOT to see this, unless you hate classic musicals.
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