Celebrate  Tradition  With Fiddler

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1949
Great Neck native Adam Kantor as Motel, a tailor, shows off his new sewing machine to Alexandra Silber, Jennifer Zetlan (arm), Lori Wilner, Jacob Guzman, Adam Grupper, Reed Luplau, Jeffrey Schecter, Mitch Greenberg and Michael Bernardi, son of Herschel Bernardi, who starred as Tevye in original Fiddler in the ’60s. (Photos by Joan Marcus)
Great Neck native Adam Kantor as Motel, a tailor, shows off his new sewing machine to Alexandra Silber, Jennifer Zetlan (arm), Lori Wilner, Jacob Guzman, Adam Grupper, Reed Luplau, Jeffrey Schecter, Mitch Greenberg and Michael Bernardi, son of Herschel Bernardi, who starred as Tevye in original Fiddler in the ’60s.
(Photos by Joan Marcus)

Fifty years after premiering on Broadway, Fiddler on the Roof, the longest-running musical for almost 10 years, has returned to Broadway for its fifth incarnation and has been welcomed with standing ovations from theatergoers of all ages and nationalities.

Danny Burstein as Tevye dances with the cast. (Photos by Joan Marcus)
Danny Burstein as Tevye dances with the cast.

The emotionally gripping revival transcends all ethnic barriers as it centers on Tevye (played by Danny Burstein), the father of five daughters, and his attempts to maintain his family and Jewish religious traditions while outside influences encroach upon their lives in tzarist Russia prior to the Russian Revolution and World War I.

Audience members who have seen every version agreed that this revival is the most outstanding. From New York natives of varying backgrounds to tourists from remote corners of the country, the message of where we’ve all come from and where we’re heading couldn’t be more poignant in today’s volatile world. The musical’s immortal message that despite what’s going on around you, you’ll always hold the love of your family dear hit home.

Samantha Massell as Hodel dances with Ben Rappaport, who plays Perchik.
Samantha Massell as Hodel dances with Ben Rappaport, who plays Perchik.

Based on the stories of Sholom Aleichem, the first commercially successful English-language stage production about Jewish life in Eastern Europe, Fiddler’s book is by Joseph Stein, music is by Jerry Bock and lyrics are by Sheldon Harnick. Tony Award–winning director Bartlett Sher also directed Burstein on Broadway in the revivals of Golden Boy and South Pacific.

Marla Phelan, Alexandra Silber, Jenny Rose Baker, Melanie Moore, Hayley Feinstein, Samantha Massell and Sarah Parker sing as dance to “Tradition.”
Marla Phelan, Alexandra Silber, Jenny Rose Baker, Melanie Moore, Hayley Feinstein, Samantha Massell and Sarah Parker sing as dance to “Tradition.”

The all-star cast features five-time Tony-Award nominee Burstein as the comedic and sincere Tevye, and his wife, Golde, is played by Tony nominee Jessica Hecht of A View from the Bridge and Breaking Bad. Playing Motel is Long Island native Adam Kantor, who made his theatrical debut as Mendel, the rabbi’s son, in sixth grade at Great Neck North Middle School and two years later, portrayed Tevye in a Great Neck community youth theater production.

Samantha Massell plays Tevye’s second daughter, Hodel.
Samantha Massell plays Tevye’s second daughter, Hodel.

Extraordinary choreography by Hofesh Shechter, based on the original staging by Jerome Robbins, brings the show to life as do the timeless classics “Tradition,” “Matchmaker, Matchmaker,” “If I Were A Rich Man,” “To Life (L’Chaim!),” “Sunrise Sunset” and “Do You Love Me.”

Fiddler is playing at the Broadway Theatre, 1681 Broadway. For tickets, visit www.telecharge.com or call 212-239-6200.

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