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GREAT PERFORMANCES: Fiddler: A Miracle Of Miracles

Stream or tune in Friday, Nov. 13, 2020 at 9 p.m. & Sunday, Nov. 15 at 2 p.m. on KPBS 2 + Sunday, Nov. 15 at Noon on KPBS TV

A scene from “Fiddler on the Roof.”

Credit: Courtesy of Samuel Goldwyn Films

Above: A scene from “Fiddler on the Roof.”

GREAT PERFORMANCES Presents "Fiddler: A Miracle of Miracles," First Documentary on the Iconic Musical

"Fiddler: A Miracle Of Miracles" is the first documentary to chronicle the complete story of the international Broadway blockbuster musical “Fiddler on the Roof” by exploring the unexpected richness of its themes as well as its extensive reach across time and cultures.

“Fiddler on the Roof” is the tale of Jewish immigrants coming to America, of immigrants and refugees trying to escape persecution in their homeland, of the fraying of tradition, generational tension and the loss of roots.

Fiddler: A Miracle Of Miracles: Preview

"Fiddler: A Miracle of Miracles" is the first in-depth documentary that chronicles the story of the international Broadway blockbuster "Fiddler on the Roof" – exploring the unexpected richness of its themes as well as its vast reach across time and cultures. Airing: 11/13/20

Photo credit: Courtesy of Samuel Goldwyn Films

A scene from “Fiddler on the Roof.”

Featuring rare archival footage, the documentary also includes personal experiences and insights into the show’s timeless impact from “Fiddler on the Roof” composer and lyricist Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick as well commentary from former cast and creative members along with famous fans impacted by the musical, including Joel Grey, Topol, Harvey Fierstein, Harold Prince, Itzhak Perlman, Stephen Sondheim, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and many others.

Three Broadway Greats Speak About "Fiddler"

Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hal Prince, and Joseph Stein speak about the process of working on the classic musical, "Fiddler on the Roof." Airing: 11/13/20

Notable Featured Talent Include:

  • Jerry Bock, Tony-winning “Fiddler on the Roof” composer
  • Sheldon Harnick, Tony-winning “Fiddler” lyricist
  • Joseph Stein, “Fiddler” librettist
  • Stephen Sondheim, Tony-winning composer, lyricist and playwright
  • Harold Prince, Tony-winning director of the original Broadway production of “Fiddler”
  • Lin-Manuel Miranda, Tony-winning composer, lyricist, actor and playwright
  • Harvey Fierstein, Tony-winning playwright, librettist and actor in “Fiddler” from 2005-06
  • Chaim Topol, Tony-nominated actor who played Tevye in the 1971 “Fiddler” feature film
  • Norman Jewison, Academy Award winner and director of the “Fiddler” feature film
  • Itzhak Perlman, GRAMMY-winning violinist
  • Joel Grey, Tony-winning actor and director of the 2018 revival of “Fiddler” in Yiddish
  • Bartlett Sher, Tony-winning director of the 2015-16 revival of “Fiddler”
  • Gurinder Chadha, director of “Bend It Like Beckham”
  • Paul Michael Glaser, actor who played Perchik in the “Fiddler” feature film
  • Neva Small, actor who played Chava in the “Fiddler” feature film
  • Michael Bernardi, actor and Herschel Bernardi’s son
  • Danny Burstein, Tony-nominated actor who played Tevye in the 2015 “Fiddler” Broadway revival
  • Ted Chapin, Chief Creative Officer of Rodgers and Hammerstein
  • Jessica Hecht, Tony-nominated actress who played Golde in the 2015 “Fiddler” Broadway revival
  • Fran Lebowitz, author and journalist
  • Austin Pendleton, Tony-nominated director
  • Samantha Massell, actor who played Hodel in the 2015 “Fiddler” Broadway revival
  • Alexandra Silber, actress and Tzeitel in the 2015 “Fiddler” Broadway revival
  • Melanie Moore, dancer and actor who played Chava in the 2015 “Fiddler” Broadway revival
  • Steven Skybell, actor and Tevye in the Yiddish production of “Fiddler”
  • Charles Isherwood, theater critic
  • Calvin Trillin, journalist and author
  • Joshua Mostel, actor and son of Zero Mostel

The Origins of "Tradition"

Jerry Bock, Sheldon Harnick, Austin Pendleton, and Hal Prince speak about the choreography, staging, and origins of the classic opening number, "Tradition." Airing: 11/13/20

Photo credit: Courtesy of Samuel Goldwyn Films

Zero Mostel as Tevye in “Fiddler on the Roof.” (undated photo)

Noteworthy Facts:

  • The original 1964 Broadway production of “Fiddler on the Roof” was the first musical in theater history to surpass 3,000 performances and held the record for longest-running Broadway musicals for nearly a decade
  • The winner of nine Tony Awards, including best musical, the original production was produced by the legendary Harold Prince, directed by theater icon Jerome Robbins and starred beloved actor Zero Mostel as Tevye
  • The musical is based on the short stories of Sholem Alecheim, considered one of the founding fathers of modern Yiddish literature, renowned for his humorous and poignant tales of life in the shtetl at the turn of the century
  • Jerome Robbins made sure that every single character, including the many members of the chorus, had a name
  • The title “Fiddler on the Roof” was inspired by a painting by Marc Chagall, and Boris Aronson’s set design in the 1964 staging paid homage to the artist’s work

Photo credit: Courtesy of Samuel Goldwyn Films

A scene from “Fiddler on the Roof.”

Watch On Your Schedule:

This film will stream on the program website in concurrence with its broadcast.

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Photo credit: Courtesy of Samuel Goldwyn Films

Masachika Ichimura as Tevye in “Fiddler on the Roof.”

Join The Conversation:

GREAT PERFORMANCES is on Facebook, and you can follow @GPerfPBS on Twitter. #GreatPerformancesPBS #BroadwayOnPBS

Photo credit: Courtesy of Samuel Goldwyn Films

A scene from “Fiddler on the Roof.”

Credits:

A Dog Green Productions film, directed by Max Lewkowicz. The documentary is produced and written by Max Lewkowicz and Valerie Thomas. Executive producers are Ann Oster, Patti Kenner and Rita Lerner. GREAT PERFORMANCES is produced by THIRTEEN Productions LLC for WNET. Bill O’Donnell is series producer and David Horn is executive producer.

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