Talk:Fiddler on the Roof

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arranger-conductor[edit]

what is a arranger-conductor (as john williams was in this piece)? thanks, --Abdull 19:09, 4 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Doesn't add up[edit]

The article states that Fiddler held the "record for longest-running Broadway musical for almost 10 years until Grease surpassed its run." But that doesn't make sense... Fiddler opened in 1964 and Grease opened in 1982... so it must've held the record for more than 10 years. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Simenzo (talkcontribs) 02:50, 25 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

No, Grease opened in 1972. -- Ssilvers (talk) 03:32, 25 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
No, no! Grease cannot have surpassed Fiddler until Grease had run for 10 years, i.e., 1982. Zaslav (talk) 04:16, 11 March 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Correction: Until 1979 or 1980, near the end of the run of Grease, which closed in 1980 (according to WP). That makes Fiddler the leader for more than 15 years. Zaslav (talk) 04:21, 11 March 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Ack![edit]

Will somebody please edit the summary? It's making me queasy. Use of "I" all over the place, punctuation and capitalization issues, improper encyclopedic style, mammoth size...it's gotta change. Anybody wanna help here? IvanP 14:42, 15 August 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Fiddler in Duluth[edit]

Dr Speedbump's Attention Deficit Compan did a sequel: Fiddler in Duluth. You can find the entire book (actually, it's a page) here: [1] -- 21:10, 28 August 2005 (UTC)Vince

Film vs Broadway[edit]

This article seems to be written about the stage production; but the list of numbers is from the film. Notably, the title number is absent; also, When Messiah Comes. Here is a list of numbers from a "deluxe" edition:

1. Prologue - Tradition
2. Matchmaker
3. If I Were a Rich Man
4. Sabbath Prayer
5. To Life
6. Miracle of Miracles
7. Dream
8. Sunrise, Sunset
9. Wedding Dance
10. Now I Have Everything
11. Do You Love Me?
12. Rumor
13. Far From the Home I Love
14. Anatevka
15. "Along the Way We Dropped a Number of Songs..." [*] - Sheldon Harnick
16. When Messiah Comes [*] - Sheldon Harnick
17. "Here's a Song That Was to Have Been in Fiddler..." [*] - Sheldon Harnick
18. How Much Richer Could One Man Be? [*] - Sheldon Harnick
19. "It's Very Seldom That Jerry Bock and I Have Written for Stars..." [*] - Sheldon Harnick
20. If I Were a Rich Man [*] - Sheldon Harnick, Richard Leonard
21. If I Were a Rich Man [*] - Sheldon Harnick
22. Recording Session [*] - Sheldon Harnick
23. Zero [*] - Sheldon Harnick
24. Where the Dancing Girls Went [*] - Sheldon Harnick
25. Musical With a Sad Ending [*] - Sheldon Harnick
26. Appeal of the Show [*] - Sheldon Harnick
27. "Do You Love Me?" [*] - Sheldon Harnick
28. Sunrise, Sunset [*] - Sheldon Harnick

It's clear that much of this is filler, incidental, and duplicate; but you can see why I think the list we have is a little short. Oddly enough, this "deluxe" edition also omits the title number.

The more I dig into this question of the title number, the stranger my exploration. In the film the opening number is Tradition. The Fiddler on the Roof theme is heard at beginning and end and throughout the film, but Topol never sings. I clearly remember hearing Zero Mostel sing the lyrics; but as I look, the various cast recordings also omit the title number. Was I dreaming?

This site has the lyrics:

ARTIST: Bock and Harnick
TITLE: Fiddler on the Roof
Lyrics and Chords
Away above my head I see the strangest sight
A fiddler on the roof who's up there day and night
He fiddles when it rains, he fiddles when it snows
I've never seen him rest, yet on and on he goes
/ A - - - Bb - A - / - - - - Bb CBb A - / :
{Refrain}
What does it mean, this fiddler on the roof
Who fiddles every night and fiddles every noon
Why should he pick so curious a place
To play his little fiddler's tune
An unexpected breeze could blow him to the ground
Yet after every storm, I see he's still around
Whatever each day brings, this odd outlandish man
He plays his simple tune as sweetly as he can
{Refrain}
A fiddler on the roof, a most unlikely sight
It might not mean a thing, but then again it might!

Please don't ask me to explain this. John Reid 17:48, 9 February 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The deluxe edition you quote quite clearly has additional tracks that do not belong in the musical. From the list you give I would regard anything pas 15 "along the way we dropped a couple of songs" as being bonus tracks and not part of the original show. Personal experience (not allowable in the article, but here is discussion...) is that there is no song IN THE SHOW called "fiddler on the roof"... I have been invovled in two productions and this appeared in neither script. NODA gives a list of the musical numbers on this page and interestingly this does not include the number Yente listed in act 2 of the list on the main article. Nor does the plot summary indicate where this song comes in. Should this one be removed? Tsoram 11:31, 11 August 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I heard on the Broadway musicals radio program "A Night on the Town" that there was no song called "Fiddler on the Roof". It's a phrase spoken by Tevye in the ensemble number "Tradition". Zaslav (talk) 04:24, 11 March 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]
There is a title song for "Fiddler on the Roof", but it was never part of the musical and was never intended to be part of the musical. It was written at the insistence of the show's publisher, according to this article: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/01/arts/music/in-to-life-sheldon-harnick-tells-of-songs-cut-from-fiddler-on-the-roof.html -- and was recorded at least once, on the LP "Herschel Bernardi Sings Fiddler on the Roof". [2] Fheaney (talk) 20:13, 17 March 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Relation to... section[edit]

I put the sect-stub template on it because it just seems to be an aside that doesn't really fit into the flow of the article. It needs to be expanded or just plain removed. 66.236.0.11 21:55, 2 March 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Tevye and his Daughters published when?[edit]

"The story is based on Tevye and his Daughters, or Tevye the Milkman by the Russian Jewish author Sholom Aleichem, originally published in 1949." The article says it was published in 1949, but Sholom Aleichem died in 1916 and the article "Tevye" says it was published in 1894. I did a google search and found websites with conflicting information. Was it published posthumously? --Dandin1 22:26, 16 May 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I didn't write any of the relevant passages, but I'm quite certain that the "Tevye" stories were by no means posthumous, and that they were established classics of Yiddish fiction long before 1949. 1949 might be a date of an English translation. -- Jmabel | Talk 05:50, 30 May 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Russian or Ukrainian?[edit]

Where was Anatevka? Russia, or Ukraine?

Most references I've found on the internet to "Fiddler on the Roof" refer to Anatevka as being Ukranian, but this Wiki article refers to it as being Russian. Of course, politically, it may have made litte difference in tsarist times (or in later Soviet times for that matter), but I ask in the interests of accuracy.

I found nothing in the movie or play to absolutely confirm the location of Anatevka. One small clue is that Perchick was from Kiev, and had returned there to pursue his revolutionary activities when he was arrested. That doesn't prove one way or the other exactly where the village was, but I had always assumed it was in Ukraine, until I read this Wiki article. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by ViolinProdigy (talkcontribs) 10 June 2006.

(Very non-definitive, subjective response follows.) Probably Ukraine makes more sense. Jews in the period didn't really tend to particularly make the distinction of Ukraine vs. Russia: it was all in Imperial Russia, and insofar as Jews assimilated, from what I can tell they were a lot more likely to assimilate to things Russian than to things specifically Ukrainian. This makes a certain sense: Ukrainian nationalism of the period was an ethnic nationalism, but Russian identity was an imperial identity, and Jews could hope for somehow being included in that. - Jmabel | Talk 05:53, 22 June 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I don't know how much effect this has, but when I go to the "Tevye" article, I find the name of a town which is now in Ukraine. In the show, we also hear of Perchik being sent off to Siberia, which is a distant area in Russia. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 128.63.16.20 (talk) 17:04, 31 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Relation to Sholom Aleichem's Tevye[edit]

After we cite Yuri Slezkine that in the original book Tevye actually despises the United States, we then say, "However in a later book, Adventures of Motel the Cantor's Son, Aleichem expressed great admiration for the United States, and enthusiasm for the idea of immigrating there. He had chosen that path himself, and so it might be possible to argue that his character Tevye would have, too." I don't see how that is a "however" or why we should project the author's own views onto a character who, while certainly a protagonist, is not an author surrogate. - Jmabel | Talk 06:06, 24 August 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Film locale: Mala?[edit]

The article mentions a place "Mala" in Croatia. I'm wondering where this might mean. There are many places in Croatia with "Mala" in their names; I don't know Croatian, but it's Slavic, and I imagine it means "small". - Jmabel | Talk 06:21, 2 December 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Tsar, Tzar, or Czar?[edit]

Shouldn't there be just one version of the word? I saw both Tsar and Tzar. By the way, is Tzar even a word? I was under the impression that it was just Tsar or Czar. Anyways, that's all I have to say. 68.1.98.64 20:13, 25 December 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Tzar exists, but is uncommon, and increasingly so. Ditto Csar. Tsar is the most common for the literal use, as here. Czar is most common for the metaphorical use (e.g. "Drug Czar"). - Jmabel | Talk 06:50, 27 December 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Sammy Kirschbaum?!?[edit]

What's up with that line in the opening paragraph about Sammy Kirschbaum? First of all, who is that and why is that line even there? I tried to edit it out but it doesn't appear in the editing window.169.244.150.77 15:39, 16 February 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

EDIT- Nevermind, the line was removed. Very weird...

Vanity/spam. That sort of thing tends to be deleted pretty rapidly. - Jmabel | Talk 01:43, 8 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Regarding keeping the film page separate[edit]

I vote that the film page be kept separate from this general page. It seems to be the Wikipedia standard to have separate pages for film adaptations, and I vote we do the same here. Daniel J. Mount 01:03, 16 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I would agree that the splitters almost always win out against the lumpers. I would not necessarily agree that is a good thing. - Jmabel | Talk 19:06, 13 April 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

duration of the revivals[edit]

I don't know how to translate the number of shows into the duration of the revivals. If I knew for what time the musical was shown, then I'd get an idea, how soon it was revived. Thanks, JanCK 17:14, 20 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

B'way and West End shows do about 415 performances per year. -- Ssilvers 18:00, 20 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Characters[edit]

TEVYE GOLDE TZEITEL HODEL CHAVA —Preceding unsigned comment added by 71.104.199.141 (talk) 06:43, 31 January 2010 (UTC) SHPRINTZE BIELKE YENTE MOTEL PERCHIK LAZAR WOLF MORDCHA RABBI PRIEST MENDEL AVRAM CONSTABLE FYEDKA SASHA YUSSEL FIDDLER —Preceding unsigned comment added by 71.254.160.31 (talk) 22:40, 21 October 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • Why is there nothing about differences between what happens to the daughters in the play vs. in the original stories? For example, while it's been years since I read Tevye the Dairyman, I seem to recall that some of the details for Chava in the play belong to Shprintze in the book, and Shprintze definitely throws herself in the river in the book, whereas if she's in the play at all, it's as a little girl. I came to the article to see what we said about this, only to find the answer is, "Not a thing." Lawikitejana (talk) 17:48, 22 December 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Because you have not done the research and added the information, citing appropriate WP:Reliable sources. ;-) Happy holidays! -- Ssilvers (talk) 22:10, 22 December 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I added Mendel to the character list, but someone took it out. In my opinion, if Mordcha is listed, then so should Mendel. 99.76.185.107 (talk) 17:45, 26 July 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

We need to keep principal cast lists short. I wouldn't mind deleting Mordcha, but he is mentioned in the plot summary, so I don't mind leaving him in. -- Ssilvers (talk) 19:13, 2 August 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
There is a problem with this section. The inclusion of who is in and who is out seems completely arbitrary. People have tried in the past to add the other supporting characters, only to have them summarily removed. If Mordcha and the Rabbi are in (both small featured roles), then the rest of Tevye's "gang" of townsmen should be as well. All those characters are on essentially the same level as Mordcha and the Rabbi, largeness of role and importance-wise, and fulfill similar functions. This includes Mendel (the Rabbi's son), Nachum (the beggar), Avram (the bookseller). If we are limiting it to characters mentioned in the plot summary (as suggested by Ssilvers above), then Avram should join Mordcha in the list of characters, with the others perhas left out. But right now, the list of included characters is arbitrary. See https://stageagent.com/shows/musical/869/fiddler-on-the-roof/characters. If we are leaving it at "Leads" and "Supporting Characters," then many others should be removed from our list, including Fruma Sarah, Grandma Tzeitel, Mordcha, the Rabbi, Shprintze, and Bielke. But if those are included, then the others on the same level of them, largeness of role-wise (incl. Mendel, Avram, Nachum, etc.), should be on there, or at least those mentioned in the plot summary. To have Mordcha on the list, but not the other men of Tevye's gang, is arbitrary, and would be like listing the characters of The Pirates of Penzance, and only deciding to include one sister of Mabel's (say, Edith), and leaving out the others (like Kate), though they are of one grouping in the cast, and perform equivalent functions. -- Kyrilla flowers (talk) 20:56, 29 April 2018 (UTC)Kyrilla_flowersReply[reply]
First, thank you for engaging here on the talk page. Yes, the problem is that the people who do not help out with the research and writing on articles want to add unimportant cruft into articles so that they get longer and less useful to the reader. They do not consider WP:UNDUE (especially WP:BALASP), good prose and the quality of the articles. They just want to make long lists of things. Instead, please help us to keep cast lists concise, focusing on the principal characters only. Mordcha and the Rabbi are needed to explain the plot. Avram, Mendel, "the fiddler" (see the discussion below) and Nachum are not. Just to clarify, I've removed Avram's name from the plot summary. -- Ssilvers (talk) 21:06, 29 April 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm sorry, but I don't agree with this arbitrary and flawed categorization. The grouping of Rabbi, Avram, Mordcha, Nachum, etc. (all townspeople, each with his own profession, all characters designed to add color to the ensemble) are on the same plane. To make distinctions between them is arbitrary. And the distinction you make does not hold up. The inn might just as easily be called "the inn" (rather than "Mordcha's inn") in the plot summary, and the Rabbi does not appear anywhere therein. Likewise, Shprintze and Bielke do not have an impact on the machinations of the plot. Please see any source listing all of the characters in the show. There are none that would include one of these townsmen (say, only Nachum, or only Avram, or only Mordcha), and leave out another. It was the intention of the creators that there be such a group, and to remove one and leave in another here seems an unjustified whim. Again, like including Mabel's sister Edith, but leaving out Mabel's sister Kate. Both serving similar functions, both in the script for a reason, and both in the same grouping of characters. Either include all of these important featured characters (see listing of characters above, from stageagent.com), or leave it to Tevye's family, their suitors, Yente, and the Constable. Kyrilla flowers (talk) 21:55, 29 April 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks. You don't need to sign twice. When you add the tildes, they automatically sign and date your contribution. Wikipedia depends on published, independent references. So, I reviewed some theatre books and independent online sources and added two citations to the "Characters section". As you suggested, and based on the sources, I removed the names of the younger daughters and Mordcha from the list of principal characters. The only character that I left in who does not have singing solos is the rabbi, because many sources, including Bloom and Vlastnik, emphasized his importance to the show. MTI is a commercial rental site paid to promote the show, so we should not cite it. -- Ssilvers (talk) 22:40, 29 April 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

retitle to Fiddler on the Roof (musical)[edit]

The film was just as famous in my opinion and I don't think we should distinguish from such.--Levineps (talk) 03:13, 1 March 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Disagree. The stage show was first. The film is an adaptation of the stage show. See WP:MUSICALS discussion page. Thanks. -- Ssilvers (talk) 03:31, 1 March 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Disagree. The musical was the first to be produced, and should be considered primary. "Fame" is an opinion or judgement, I prefer to use some type of objective criteria.JeanColumbia (talk) 11:53, 1 March 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hershel Bernardi on Broadway[edit]

Wasn't he first, and not Zero Mostel? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 50.193.217.54 (talk) 18:58, 14 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Nope. -- Ssilvers (talk) 02:40, 4 November 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Current production 2014[edit]

A community theater in my area is performing this musical in July 2014. I am looking forward to participating in the production. I am playing flute in the pit orchestra. I have seen the movie version but I have never seen the stage performance of the musical. I am looking forward to finding out the differences. I am also looking forward to working with this group of people. I had a great time two years ago when I played in the pit for "Music Man" with this same group. Slreineke1 (talk) 19:56, 13 June 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hi, Slreineke. If you like musicals, check out the Musical Theatre Project here at Wikipedia. Also, as a musician with access to the score of the show, it would be great if you could add a musical analysis section and/or (if you are good with computers), a musical example to this article, like the one here.. If you need help with entering the information or your sources, just ask us, and we can help you. All the best! -- Ssilvers (talk) 00:06, 14 June 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Background section[edit]

The Whitfield article has more background beginning on p. 115. -- Ssilvers (talk) 02:39, 4 November 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

There is something missing in this section. It says "In the late 1950s, a musical based on the stories, called Tevye and his Daughters, was produced Off-Broadway by Arnold Perl." Then that musical disappears with no indication of how it is or is not related to the Broadway musical. In fact, one gets the impression it was the same musical. Whatever the facts, they must be properly explained by someone who has the information. Please! Zaslav (talk) 04:28, 11 March 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It is unrelated, and the section indicates this by stating that Tevye and his Daughters was considered to be brought to Broadway, but the idea was dropped. I've tried to clarify the wording. Also, I reverted your change about the time that Fiddler held the long-run record: You forgot that Fiddler did not *set* the new record until late in *its* run, and then Grease, in turn, broke that record later in its run, so the difference in time between records being set was only about 10 years. -- Ssilvers (talk) 09:55, 11 March 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

External links modified[edit]

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Hello all ![edit]

Pardon me, please. I am getting old, my memory lacks. Does any body of you remember "Anatevka" or Shmuel Rhodensky ? If I remember righly, those were direrectly linked to "if I were a rich man". Pardon me, perhaps I am in error. Yours sincerely — Preceding unsigned comment added by 78.228.8.159 (talk) 19:42, 18 February 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

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The Fiddler character.[edit]

> "As Tevye, Golde and their two youngest daughters leave the village for America, the fiddler begins to play. Tevye beckons with a nod, and the fiddler follows them out of the village."

What fiddler? This is the first time in the plot summmary he gets mentioned in terms of being a character rather than an abstract. I came up with one solution to this problem, Ajd came up with another. Ssilvers is not happy with either solution. But there needs to be a better way of first mentioning THE fiddler than have him suddebly pop up at the end, the way it is at present. 62.190.148.115 (talk) 10:12, 23 January 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

SSilvers says this about the fiddler: "he does not appear throughout the show. It is not in the script." As far as I can tell, the fiddler appears three times in the script: at the very beginning of the show; act 1 scene 5, when the constable warns Tevye about the upcoming pogrom; and at the very end of the show. Is this "throughout"? I dunno, maybe not. AJD (talk) 17:44, 23 January 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Not only is it not "throughout", but he does not have significant lines and does not sing significant songs. He is not a principal character – he is more like a colorful part of the background, like the synagogue, or Tevye's horse, who gets a lot more stage time. -- Ssilvers (talk) 19:25, 23 January 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
He's certainly not "a principal character"; he's not really a character at all. But he is the title of the show, and a major metaphorical image for the show's theme, and 62.190.148.115 has a point that if he's going to mentioned at the end of the synopsis he should maybe be explained.
(Also, I don't think Tevye's horse gets any stage time; isn't it a running gag that Tevye's horse is always sick, and so we always see Tevye pulling his cart himself? "Dear God, I'm sick and tired of pulling this cart. I know, I know, I should push it awhile.") AJD (talk) 19:37, 23 January 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
We already explained it in the first line of the synopsis: "...where their lives are as precarious as the perch of a fiddler on a roof...." I suppose we could say that he becons "the metaphorical fiddler of the title, who follows...", but really, I think it is both overkill (in the synopsis) and inadequate (for the article as a whole). Instead, there should be a "Themes" or "Textual analysis" section of the article that gives an actual analysis of the themes of anti-Semitism, government-sponsored brutality, friendship-enmity among neighboring groups, Jewish diaspora, etc. that are explored in the show. There's a lot of literature on this, but it's a lot of work, which is why no one has done it yet. -- Ssilvers (talk) 20:37, 23 January 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The trouble with the wording as current is that it isn't until that last line that it is made clear that an actual fiddler is on the stage. "As precarious as the perch of a fiddler on a roof" makes it potentially sound like a nonspecific fiddler is merely alluded to in Tevye's monologue when in fact a member of the company has to be dressed up and go onstage playing a violin at specific points. To only suddenly make this clear in the last line of the synopsis reads as just ... wierd. 62.190.148.115 (talk) 09:56, 24 January 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I don't agree, obviously, but if it bothers people a lot, I would suggest deleting the last sentence, as the fiddler following the family out of Anatevka is not important to the plot. The fiddler is a thematic touch, not really a plot point, and for Synopsis sections, shorter is generally better. -- Ssilvers (talk) 18:13, 24 January 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Bolshevik?[edit]

Is there a clear reference in the text that it is set in 1905, or that Perchik is a Bolshevik? The division between Bolsheviks and Mensheviks may not have been clear cut at the time, he might have been a social revolutionary. PatGallacher (talk) 20:59, 29 September 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

There appears to be no reference in text to 1905, but I found this article which backs up the first claim. This link also says 1905, but its a self published source. This link however only says "Early 20th century". Another point for 1905. At any rate, its definitely set sometime between 1894 and 1914. In terms of the Bolshevik, no reference in text, nor did a googling turn up anything. I suspect calling him a Bolshevik was WP:OR on someones part. Calling him a "student revolutionary" may be more accurate. Captain Eek Edits Ho Cap'n! 21:20, 29 September 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]