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Yiddish Fiddler Dedicates Special Performance on 80th Anniversary of Kristallnacht

Fiddler on the Roof, presented with English and Russian supertitles, has been extended through November 18.

Ben Liebert, Steven Skybell, Mary Illes, Rachel Zatcoff, Stephanie Lynne Mason, Rosie Jo Neddy, Raquel Nobile, Samantha Hahn, and Daniel Kahn in a scene from Fiddler on the Roof.
(© Victor Nechay)

National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene will dedicate the November 10 performance of its Yiddish-language production of Fiddler on the Roof to the resiliency of Jewish culture on the 80th anniversary of Kristallnacht.

The special event to mark the show on November 10 at 7pm includes an after-performance reception. This 104th performance will also celebrate National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene's 104th season.

"In the famous wedding scene in Fiddler on the Roof, the badkhn (master of ceremonies), while celebrating the nuptials, stops to remember those who are no longer with us," said artistic director of National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene and music director of Fiddler on the Roof, Zalmen Mlotek, in a statement. "In the Jewish tradition of remembrance, even during this happy occasion, we pause to reflect on the 80th anniversary of Kristallnacht, which took place on November 9 and November 10, 1938, during which Nazis in Germany torched synagogues, vandalized Jewish homes, schools, and businesses and killed close to 100 Jews. As we celebrate the success of Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish, we are reminded that the pogroms and forced expulsions which are so poignantly depicted in Fiddler on the Roof set a precedent in the modern world that violence could be unleashed on entire populations while the world remains silent. Our special 104th performance will pay tribute to the resiliency of the Jewish people and culture by the world's oldest Yiddish theater company."

Due to the success of the Yiddish-language Fiddler on the Roof, presented with English and Russian supertitles, performances have been extended through November 18 at the Museum of Jewish Heritage.

Directed by Joel Grey, Fiddler on the Roof is executive-produced by Chris Massimine. Sheldon Harnick, the musical's lyricist, and Harold Prince, the musical's original director, serve as consultants on the project.

Featuring a book by Joseph Stein and a score by Jerry Bock and Harnick, Fiddler on the Roof is inspired by Sholem Alecheim's stories of the milkman Tevye, who tries to hold on to "tradition" as the world around him and his family in the little village of Anatevka change. The Yiddish translation was crafted by Israeli actor-director Shraga Friedman in 1965 and made its world premiere in Israel more than 50 years ago.

Steven Skybell leads the cast as Tevye, alongside Jackie Hoffman as Yente and Jennifer Babiak as Golde. They are joined by Joanne Borts as Sheyndl, the understudy for Yente, Fruma-Sarah, Grandma Tzeitel; Doug Chitel as the understudy for Mendel, Avrom, Nokhum/Mordkhe, The Rabbi, and The Constable; Michael Einav as an ensemble member and the understudy for Motel Kamzoil, Perchik, Fyedka, and The Rabbi; Lisa Fishman as Grandma Tzeitel and the understudy for Golde and Sheyndl; Lydia Gladstone as Grandma Tzeitel and the understudy for Golde and Sheyndl; Jessica Rose Futran as an ensemble member and the understudy for Tzeitel, Hodel, and Chava; Kirk Geritano as Avrom; John Giesige as Male Swing; Josh Kohane as Male Swing; Abby Goldfarb as Female Swing; Maya Jacobson as Bielke; Cameron Johnson as Fyedka; Ben Liebert as Motel Kamzoil; Moshe Lobel as Nokhum/Mordkhe; Stephanie Lynne Mason as Hodel; Rosie Jo Neddy as Chava / Dance Captain; Raquel Nobile as Shprintze; Jonathan Quigley as Dancer / Ensemble / understudy for The Fiddler; Nick Raynor as Yussel/Dancer/Ensemble; Grant Richards as Yussel/Dancer/Ensemble; Bruce Sabath as Lazar-Wolf (company); Drew Seigla as Perchik; Adam B. Shapiro as The Rabbi / Ensemble / understudy for Tevye and Lazar-Wolf; Jodi Snyder as Fruma-Sarah / Ensemble; James Monroe Števko as Mendel; Lauren Jeanne Thomas as The Fiddler; Bobby Underwood as The Constable / Ensemble; and Rachel Zatcoff as Tzeitel.

The production features scenic design by Beowulf Boritt, costume design by Ann Hould-Ward, choreography by Staś Kmieć, lighting design by Peter Kaczorowski, sound design by Dan Moses Schreier, hair and wig design Tom Watson, and musical direction and conducting by Zalmen Mlotek. The creative team also includes Merete Muenter (assistant choreographer) and Matthew (Motl) Didner (assistant director).

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