Miracle of Miracles

Topol, who died in March, most famously played Tevye in the 1971 film adaptation of Fiddler on the Roof. Of course, before Topol there was Zero. And before Zero there was Jerry who wrote the music, Sheldon who wrote the lyrics, and Joe who wrote the book which was based on the work of Sholom.

Fidler Afn Dakh (Photo by Matthew Murphy)
Fidler Afn Dakh (Photo by Matthew Murphy)

Nearly 130 years ago, Sholom Aleichem wrote Tevye the Dairyman and Other Stories in Yiddish. Joseph Stein adapted it for Fiddler’s libretto in 1964. So, on the one hand, the choice to produce Fiddler in Yiddish recently made artistic sense. It would be like coming full circle, back to the source, to the original language. On the other hand, the Yiddish language has been dying for decades and God knows Fiddler works just fine in English.

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Photo of playwright Michele Lowe
Michele Lowe

wrote The Smell of the KillString of Pearls, plus a few more. She won the Francesca Primus Prize for Inana. Current projects include: The Greatest (Sundance Theatre Lab), Split (Transport Group commission), and The Proxy Marriage. She coaches writers and rabbis around the country.