Musical theater fans rejoice, the perennial favorite “Fiddler on the Roof” is coming to the Majestic, March 26- March 31, as part of the North Park Lexus Broadway in San Antonio Series. The beloved theatrical classic from Tony Award-winner Joseph Stein, and Pulitzer Prize- winners Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick, “Fiddler on the Roof” is directed by Tony Award-winner Bartlett Sher (South Pacific, The King and I); choreographed by the acclaimed Israeli choreographer Hofesh Shechter; inspired by the original choreography of Jerome Robbins; and has musical direction by Ted Sperling.
Not Jewish? Doesn’t matter. “Fiddler on the Roof” is the heartwarming story of fathers and daughters, husbands and wives, and life, love, and laughter. This classic musical is rich with Broadway hits, including “To Life (L’Chaim!),” “If I Were A Rich Man,” “Sunrise Sunset,” “Matchmaker, Matchmaker,” and “Tradition.”
I had the opportunity of speaking with the touring lead, Tevye, Israeli native Yehezkel Lazarov, from his hotel room in Memphis.
How do you think your portrayal of the beloved family patriarch and milkman, fits between such former greats as Topol and Zero Mostel?
“Tevye is part of the whole story, but having to play the role at 45, which is considerably younger than the others, seems to fit very well. The director of the touring production, Bartlett Sher, has added a new spirit to my role. My family’s story is very much like that in the show, with my grandfather leaving Russia with his 11 children, walking day after day in search of the right place to settle. The age of 45 was probably the age of the person that the character was developed from, at the turn of the 20th century. Back then, 45 was an old man with a family.”
Does it help to be Jewish for the role?
“Of course, but each tradition is different depending on the country a person lives. My family is Polish, so there are some differences from the story.”
In the story, Teyve arranges a marriage of one of his young daughters to the rich, but a much older butcher, Lazer, through the town’s matchmaker, Yenta. As a father of daughters, would that be something you would do in real life?
“Answering with a laugh, they would be kicked out of my house. Our children are treated with much more attention today, than the time when the story happens. Just 40 years ago, children were loved, but their opinions were not very respected. I feel somethings were better for this and others, worse. For instance, I love my family so much, my wife and daughters are on tour with me. My children are homeschooled and get to reap the rewards of witnessing new experiences and artistic expressions in the many cities of our tour. We love going to museums in different cities.”
Of course, I proudly told him about our local treasures.
The original Broadway production of Fiddler on the Roof, which opened in 1964, was the first musical in history to surpass 3,000 performances. The show won the 1965 Tony Award for Best Musical in addition to eight other Tony Awards that year. This acclaimed revival proudly introduces a new generation to the iconic musical adored across the globe.
Tickets for Fiddler on the Roof, starting at $40, are available online at www.ticketmaster.com, by calling Ticketmaster at (800) 982.ARTS (2787), or by visiting the Majestic Box Office. The Majestic Box Office does not accept single ticket orders over the phone; all ticket sales must be made in person. Majestic Box Office hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Saturday hours vary weekly, call (210) 226.3333 to verify. Orders for groups of 10 or more may be placed by calling (210) 226-5967.
Fiddler on the Roof performance times are 7:30 p.m., Tuesday through Thursday; 8 p.m. on Friday; 2 and 8 p.m., Saturday and at 2 and 7:30 p.m. on Sunday. For venue information, visit www.MajesticEmpire.com. For information on Broadway in San Antonio, please visit www.BroadwayInSanAntonio.com.
By Mark Richter