This was one dollar. October is Donkey Show salute to the musicals of old Broadway. If you look at the last century of musical theater, hand down without comparison, America has produced the most important works of the genre, and this one, Fiddler On The Roof, is one of the best.
Opening on Broadway in 1964, it surpassed 3,000 shows to become at the time, the longest running show until being surpassed by Grease. Today it still ranks #16. The show was based on Sholem Aleichem’s stories of Tevye and his daughters, with music by Jerry Bock, lyrics by Sheldon Harnick and book by Joseph Stein. The 1964 production would be nominated for 10 Tony’s, winning 9.
Many of the songs have become musical standards including “Tradition”, “If I Were A Rich Man”, “Matchmaker, Matchmaker”, “The Sabbath Prayer”, “To Life” , and “Sunrise, Sunset”. Furthermore, the songs have been covered by a diverse array of artists including these two which have been featured on the blog and have become among my favorites.
The original role of Tevye went to Zero Mostel. However, sometime in 1965, Mostel split and Herchel Bernardi assumed the role. Other notable actors have been Mostel’s understudy Paul Lipson, Theodore Bikel, and Topol. all of which whom clocked 2,000 or more performances as the character. Topol would later star in the 1971 film version.
This recording , from 1966 perhaps, is a collection of 10 songs, 8 from the what was the current production as well as two from the original production. For a sample, I went with one of these two numbers, “When Messiah Comes”.