“Even the worst husband, God forbid, is better than no husband — God forbid!”
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
Also noteworthy is Leonard Frey as the timid tailor Motel, who eventually comes into his own and stands up to Tevye so he can marry his sweetheart. (Frey’s other well-known role was as Harold in The Boys in the Band .)
There’s fine use of location shooting (in Yugoslavia), and a slew of instantly hummable songs — including “Tradition”:
… “If I Were a Rich Man”:
… “Sabbath Prayer”:
… “To Life”:
… “Miracle of Miracles”:
… “Sunrise, Sunset”:
… “Do You Love Me?”
… and “Far From the Home I Love”.
Okay, here is where I should interject my personal history with this play: I was the pianist for a local community theater kids’ production of “Fiddler on the Roof” back in 1999, and thus got to know each and every one of the songs (and most of the dialogue) quite intimately. It’s possible my familiarity with the music is influencing my appreciation for so many of the songs — but they do truly seem memorable to me. Be sure to check out the 2019 documentary Fiddler: A Miracle of Miracles if you’re interested in learning more about the history and reach of this surprisingly boundary-crossing play.
Notable Performances, Qualities, and Moments: