It’s next year in Midtown for the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbeine’s production of “Fiddler on the Roof.”
Playbill reports that the all-Yiddish production of the musical, directed by the legendary performer Joel Grey and translated into Yiddish by Shraga Friedman, will transfer from lower Manhattan’s Museum of Jewish Heritage to Off-Broadway’s Stage 42 where it will begin performances February 11, 2019, prior to a February 21 opening. This news follows a sold-out run, four extensions and near-universal acclaim for the downtown staging, which opened July 15 and is scheduled for its final curtain on December 30.
Steven Skybell, who plays the the lead role of Tevye the dairyman and Jackie Hoffman who plays matchmaker Yente will reprise their roles. Additional casting for the transfer is forthcoming.
The new run, which will be a commercial one, brings its Yiddishkeit tradition to a larger audience courtesy of English and Russian supertitles. Of course, it helps that the 1964 musical, written in English by Joseph Stein with music by Jerry Bock and lyrics by Sheldon Harnick, is known to many Americans already. But if the crowd comes out singing “Ven Ikh Bin a Rotshild” instead of “If I Was a Rich Man” we’ll call it a victory.
PJ Grisar is the Forward’s culture intern. He can be reached at Grisar@Forward.com.