Medium show score
Ends Oct 25

Fiddler on the Roof (National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene)

Members say: Great singing, Entertaining, Great acting, Delightful, 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.

... Read 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.


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95
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

95
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

95
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

90
Theatermania

"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

90
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

90
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

90
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

90
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

85
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

85
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

85
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

85
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

85
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

85
TheaterScene.net

"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

85
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

85
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

85
CurtainUp

"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

85
BroadwaySelect

"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

85
The Times of Israel

"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

85
Forward

"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

80
Lighting & Sound America

"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

80
New York Stage Review

"Folksbiene gives full value; that is, this production flavorfully brings out the full value of the material...The life and the joy of the musical are here, as well as the stripping away of Tevye’s soul as his beliefs are challenged by his beloved daughters and his existence is obliterated by the tsar. Director Grey and associates fit the show on a tiny stage, yes; but the abundance of this production is definitely full scale...This is a warm and wonderful 'Fiddler on the Roof,' even in a for... Full Review

80
AM New York

"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

80
The Wall Street Journal

“Thrilling...So virtuosic is Steven Skybell in that role that he often needs no language at all for us to feel his character swerve from ironic mockery to righteous anger to heartbreak...Illes is engaging and steely and Hoffman is comic and a bit over-the-top...The production’s polish and verve make for an exuberant and touching celebration..But there are also crucial complications. The show’s attitude to the observantly Jewish culture of the shtetl...is itself quite ambivalent." Full Review

80
Times Square Chronicles

"One of the most celebrated musicals of all time performed in the language that is most genuine to the show’s historical period...Many in the audience may not have understood all the words, but it was certainly one of the most meaningful and memorable nights they have had in the theatre. Stas’ Kmiec’s musical staging and choreography were electrifying and the songs we all love never sounded better under music director/conductor Zalmen Moltek’s baton." Full Review


100
Absorbing, Great acting, Must see, Entertaining, Great singing

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.

Also Loved every minute of it. Great performers make the experience incredi... Read more Read less

100
Absorbing, Clever, Delightful

See it if My all time fave! Great plot. Exceptional songs. Best cast. Must see

Don't see it if Domestic violence bothers you.

100
Even if you've seen fiddler 11 times, this one is so fresh. fantastic everything. wonderful singing, brilliant choreography and a deceptively simple-looking set.

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,

100
Enchanting, Great acting, Must see, Great singing

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.

Also This production is just wonderful. Brings tears to your eyes multiple ... Read more Read less

100
Delightful, Exquisite, Masterful, Must see, Great singing

See it if Excellent production. As good or better then any Broadway revivals. Wonderful singing and dancing.

Don't see it if You dislike the musical Fiddler on the Roof.

100
Ambitious, Clever, Intelligent, Must see, Refreshing

See it if you love Fiddler and want to experience it in a new, authentic way that is the beauty of the Yiddish language

Don't see it if You have trouble following translated supertitles that are projected on the screens to the sides of the stage

Also Broadway legend Joel Grey directs an excellent production, focusing on... Read more Read less

99
Absorbing, Great acting, Masterful, Must see, Great staging

See it if you love Fiddler on the Roof or the music from Fiddler on the Roof, or if your ancestors were immigrants (isn't that most of us?)

Don't see it if you have no tolerance for older audiences that move slowly and talk loudly (one woman shouted at Tevye that she couldn't hear him)

Also This is not just another Fiddler. It's a revelation. Funny. Moving. Ex... Read more Read less

98
Delightful, Great acting, Must see

See it if You appreciate seeing a more authentic production of “Fiddler” than the English version expertly conceived & directed by Joel Grey, et al.

Don't see it if There are supertitles projected on 2 screens at the sides in Eng & Russian which take away at times from seeing some of the action on stage.

Also This production is fabulous with 27 very talented actors/singers/dance... Read more Read less

98
Delightful, Enchanting, Great acting, Refreshing, Great singing

See it if You are interested in Jewish life at the time of progroms. If you love Fiddler in English. If you know the score.

Don't see it if You don’t like supertitles. You are offended by “romanticization” of hardships.

97
Funny, Absorbing, Clever, Entertaining, Heartfelt,emotional

See it if Beautifully acted. Yiddish adds a new dimension to a beloved show familiar to so many. Based on Yiddish stories, you feel the authenticity.

Don't see it if If you didn't like Fiddler, the music and story, don't go. Even more emotional than Broadway version.

97
Delightful, Resonant, Entertaining, Great singing, Great staging

See it if To see Fiddler in Yiddish (with English and Russian supertitles), in script based heavily on Shalom Aleichem's original story.

Don't see it if You don't like nostalgia or sad endings.

95
Funny, Exquisite, Must see, Resonant, I'm kvelling!

See it if You love Fiddler and want to experience it in Yiddish. You love the Yiddish language. You want to be moved by a funny, heartbreaking story.

Don't see it if You are put off by hearing a story told in a foreign language, as in opera. You are distracted by supertitles above the stage.

Also The fact that this limited-run presentation of "Fiddler" is all but so... Read more Read less

95
Absorbing, Delightful, Intelligent, Relevant, Resonant

See it if You want a unique experience in the theater

Don't see it if you aren't interested in Fiddler

95
Absorbing, Delightful, Great acting, Great singing, Great staging

See it if You love Jewish history. Love the sound of Yiddish and enjoy greAt singing and acting

Don't see it if You are antisemetic

95
Delightful, Masterful, Entertaining, Classic

See it if You love this show and want to see the wonderful Yiddish version.

Don't see it if you need an elaborate production to enjoy this show.

95
Funny, Delightful, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if See it if you like Fiddler on the Roof. It’s done in Yiddish, with English and Russian translations on a screen if needed. A do not miss.

Don't see it if You don’t like Fiddler on the Roof.

95
Funny, Absorbing, Ambitious, Clever, Great acting

See it if If you’re nostalgic about how and why your family loved and left Europe

Don't see it if If your a hard hearted bigot

95
Funny, Clever, Delightful, Exquisite, Entertaining

See it if You love great musical theater

Don't see it if You’re grumpy

95
Clever, Delightful, Entertaining, Great singing, Great staging

See it if you love Broadway musicals with great music and dancing, want to see a unique version of a classic

Don't see it if you are distracted by subtitles or don't like this show

Also Remarkable staging of a wonderful show with a big cast and great danci... Read more Read less

94
Absorbing, Delightful, Enchanting, Exquisite, Entertaining

See it if If you love the classic, you will adore this production. Everything about it is exquisite, but the authenticity of the translation makes it

Don't see it if If you have no interest in the history depicted, don't like musicals—or reading supertitles.

94
Funny, Ambitious, Delightful, Great singing, Great staging

See it if You want to see "Fiddler' performed in a new way by a great cast in an intimate space.

Don't see it if The only reason not to see this is if you don't like "Fiddler," although this is the best "Fiddler" imaginable.

93
Absorbing, Enchanting, Great acting, Masterful

See it if You would like a classic American musical reinvented in a unique way. Great singing, staging and acting make this a moving, can't-miss show.

Don't see it if You don't want to be bothered reading the English translation.

Also It's amazing how this show draws you in completely, so much so that yo... Read more Read less

92
Enchanting, Great acting, Resonant, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if you love "fiddler" and you'd relish seeing it in the language of the people "yiddish". fabulous!

Don't see it if you dislike musicals or theatre in other languages than english

92
Funny, Absorbing, Delightful, Entertaining, Great staging

See it if Enjoy a twist ( it’s in Yiddish) on a classic Broadway play. With a great Tevye

Don't see it if If reading a bit bothers you

91
Delightful, Great acting, Refreshing, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if This version,performed in Yiddish with sub titles,seems to be more intimate and touching as performed in this smaller space. Cast is great.

Don't see it if You are not a fan of the musical. This is definitely a special version that is well worth the visit.


Cast & Creatives (28)