New York | 2h 50m | Ends Jun 30

Fiddler on the Roof (National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene)

From 35 critic and 241 member reviews
Members say: Entertaining, Great singing, Delightful, Great acting, Absorbing

About the show

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.

2h 50m | Ends Jun 30 | Stage 42 (Midtown W)


"Much more is gained than lost by the simplicity of the production, beautifully staged by actor Joel Grey and choreographer Stas Kmiec, without needing to focus on huge set pieces or overelaborate musical numbers, one can more deeply appreciate the show's story of an ordinary man who must adjust to drastic changes in his way of life - from letting his daughters choose their own husbands to eventually being forced to leave the village he's always called home." Full Review

Stage Left

“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

Theater Time

"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

The Algemeiner

"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

Naughty Gossip

“‘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


"You don't have to understand Yiddish to thrill to this production. Though most adult theater goers will know the songs and story and have probably seen it more than once, they'll come away feeling they've seen it for the first time— and that this is how it was meant to be...Fortunately the downtown cast is again on board. And the jewel in the crown of legendary performer Joel Grey's directing career shines more brightly than ever." Full Review

Gotham Playgoer

"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

Talkin' Broadway

"This production is very special indeed, endowed with a superabundance of strengths. If I were to narrow it down to one, it would be this: everyone involved absolutely respects the story that is being told, bringing out every bit of nuance that lies within Friedman's translation of Joseph Stein's English-language book...All told, director Joel Grey has given us a 'Fiddler' that is a towering labor of love, delivering the goods with heart, soul, and integrity." Full Review

Front Row Center

“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

Broadway & Me

"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

DC Metro Theater Arts

"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

This Week in New York Blog

“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

Frequent Business Traveler

“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

Theater Life

“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

New York Theater

"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

The New York Times

“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

The Hollywood Reporter

"Delivering raw emotionality, boisterous humor and cultural authenticity that will stir you whether you're experiencing the show for the first time or the 15th...Steven Skybell brings exuberant charm, warmth, flinty intelligence and even a bearish sexiness...Grey navigates the show's many shifts from comedy to pathos, from elation to fear and desolation, with a supple hand, and the heartfelt investment in the story and characters is evident throughout." Full Review

Cultural Weekly

"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

Time Out New York

"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

Daily Beast

"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

Theatre Reviews Limited

"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


"The show travels well and now resonates with a deeper emotional wallop, the actors having settled into the intricacies of performing in a language not their own...After more than six months in the role, Steven Skybell is becoming a Tevye that rivals greats like Zero Mostel and Herschel Bernardi...Tony winner Joel Grey directs with loving reverence to the show's history, but also a keen sense of its enduring relevance." 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

Great staging, Intelligent, Great acting, Funny, Exquisite

See it if I saw the original with Hershel Bernardi ages ago in the company of my grandmother. Seeing it in Yiddish added more color and depth.

Don't see it if If you don't appreciate musicals, history, and humanity.

Intelligent, Masterful, Relevant, Must see, Authentic

See it if A brilliant, absolutely perfect production that grabs you the second the music starts and doesn’t let go ! Yiddish a genius idea ! See it !

Don't see it if You can’t deal with a show that uses English subtitles. That is honestly the ONLY reason I can give to not see this spectacular musical !

Resonant, Must see, Enchanting

See it if creative interpretation of a classic musical that illuminates its heart and soul. Skybell's Tevye is a master class in acting

Don't see it if Don't like Fiddler.

Entertaining, Enchanting, Delightful, Clever, Absorbing

See it if You’ve loved the myriad productions of Fiddler on and off Broadway, love musicals, and have an interest in Jewish history.

Don't see it if You don’t like musicals and shows with minimal staging.

Delightful, Entertaining, Great staging, Must see, Absorbing

See it if You like a classic show beautifully reinterpreted and presented

Don't see it if You cannot last through 3 hours of show but otherwise no negatives

Unforgettable, Great staging, Exquisite, Great singing, Great acting

See it if Even if you have already seen this show millions of times as I have, This is the best version bar none. Thank you, Joel Grey ( director)

Don't see it if Everyone should see it but not with small children who might disrupt the magic on stage. It is as relevant now as ever.

Also Every scene is handled beautifully with both subtlety and power and Gr... Read more Read less

Resonant, Profound, Must see, Great staging, Absorbing

See it if You love Fiddler on the roof...appreciate what the actors had to do to perform this in Yiddish

Don't see it if You don’t like musicals

Clever, Great acting, Entertaining

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.

Also Great direction by Joel Grey and amazing choreography on such a small ... Read more Read less

Resonant, Profound, Must see, Masterful, Exquisite

See it if You want to see the best Fiddler in many years. Perfection.

Don't see it if You don't like perfect?

Masterful, Great singing, Great acting, Exquisite, Absorbing

See it if an astounding production of a musical you thought you totally know interests you.

Don't see it if seeing the English text on surtitles bothers you.

Also This is one of the best productions of any musical I have ever seen. A... Read more Read less

Profound, Great staging, Great singing, Entertaining, Delightful

See it if You have any interest in this classic musical, and are interested in hearing it in Yiddish.

Don't see it if You don't care for 3 hour musicals and have a cold heart!

Also I'm a huge fan of the film and had never seen this classic musical on ... Read more Read less

Great singing, Must see, Great staging, Entertaining, Delightful

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.

Relevant, Exquisite, Must see, Great staging, Great singing

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.

Profound, Great singing, Refreshing, Must see, Delightful

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.

Great singing, Ambitious, Great acting, Enchanting

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.

Also I have seen "Fiddler" 7 times on Broadway. This is the best production... Read more Read less

Refreshing, Profound, Must see, Masterful, Exquisite

See it if You have a deep love of FIDDLER, of family, of love, of life.

Don't see it if You don't love Fiddler.

Five words are not enough to describe this fiddler on the roof. it is absorbing, clever, delightful, enchanting, entertaining, exquisite, funny, great acting, singing, staging, writing, intelligent, masterful, profound, refreshing, resonant, riveting.

See it if you want to see a new way of presenting one of the great musicals. Fiddler On the Roof in Yiddish.

Don't see it if you don't like musicals.

Also Can't say enough about how wonderful this production is. The performan... Read more Read less

Riveting, Great acting, Absorbing

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.

Refreshing, Great singing, Delightful

See it if You know and love Fiddler or never seen it before

Don't see it if can't handle the Yiddish and refuse to read the subtitles

Masterful, Great staging, Great singing, Great acting, Must see

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.

Also the characters and the quaint village they lived in. Tradition has nev... Read more Read less

Ambitious, Masterful, Great singing, Entertaining, Delightful

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.

Great acting, Ambitious, Exquisite

See it if This is a brilliant concept. The simplicity heightens the storytelling. All elements mesh beautifully. Steven Skybell is terrific. Kudos!

Don't see it if Don't miss this one!

Must see, Masterful, Enchanting, Absorbing

See it if You love a well done revival

Don't see it if You can’t read supertitles or hate fiddler? But who hates fiddler!

Poignant, Ambitious, Must see, Relevant, Great staging

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.

Delightful, Absorbing, Entertaining, Clever

See it if Wonderful rendition Have seen many fiddlers Motel was exceptional clever use of setsand staging

Don't see it if You don’t like musicals

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