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Yiddish Fiddler on the Roof to Honor the Memory of Theodore Bikel With Performance

The Labor Day show will celebrate the man who holds the record for having played the role of Tevye more times than any actor.

Steven Skybell and the cast of Fiddler on the Roof.
(© Victor Nechay)

National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene will launch its fall extension of the critically acclaimed Yiddish-language production of Fiddler on the Roof, playing at the Museum of Jewish Heritage, by dedicating its September 3, 7pm performance to the memory of its longtime friend and collaborator Theodore Bikel. Presented with English and Russian supertitles, the production will run until October 25.

Bikel is remembered for having starred in Fiddler on the Roof over 2,200 times, holding the record for having played the role of Tevye more than any actor in the show's history. His work lives on though his wife Aimee Ginsburg Bikel, who oversees the Theodore Bikel Legacy Project, a foundation that perpetuates the ideas and passions that were wellsprings of Bikel's work.

In addition, NYTF will be allotting a limited number of $40 tickets for individuals 40 years of age or younger for the show's fall extension. Using code 40Fiddler, those tickets can be ordered over the phone, online, or at the box office and must be claimed by presenting a government-issued photo ID.

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 Sheldon 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 changes. 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 Rachel Zatcoff as Tsaytl, Stephanie Lynne Mason as Hodel, Rosie Jo Neddy as Chava, Ben Liebert as Motel, Cameron Johnson as Fyedka, Daniel Kahn as Perchik, Bruce Sabath as Leyzer-Volf, Jodi Snyder as Fruma-Sarah, Kirk Geritano as Avram, Samantha Hahn as Bielke, Raquel Nobile as Shprintze, Lauren Jeanne Thomas as the Fiddler, Bobby Underwood as the Constable, Michael Yashinsky as Mordcha, Lisa Fishman as Grandma Tsaytl, Joanne Borts as Sheyndl, Josh Dunn as Chaim, Michael Einav in the ensemble, Evan Mayer as Sasha, Nick Raynor as Yussel, Kayleen Seidl in the ensemble, Adam Shapiro as Rabbi, and James Monroe Števko as Mendel.

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).