Fiddler on the Roof
(Based on Sholem Aleichem's Stories)
by Joseph Stein
In honor of the 50th Anniversary of one of the most beloved musicals of all time, a new edition of the original play has been released. Tevye is a kind man, but also one who's used to the world running in a very specific way. He is a Jew living in Russia in the early 1900s with his wife and five daughters. They live a simple life together and he holds the traditions of his people in high regard.
Each of his daughters is trying to find their way in the world and to begin to make decisions about their life and fall in love. Tevye's decisions and beliefs are put to the test when he must decide which is more dear to him, his family's happiness or his traditions.
I believe the reason this play is still so relevant today is because of the message of the story at its core. Despite the humor and the setting, the real story is about one man trying to understand the world as he watches it change around him. Whether it's Jewish people in 1905 Russia or hippies in the 1970s or millennials and their intrusive technology, children will always challenge and question the world in which they are raised. The author created relatable characters, full of humor and warmth. They all just want to be loved in their own way, despite the world changing around them.
BOTTOM LINE: See the musical if you get the chance so you can enjoy the full experience of the songs that have become so famous (Tradition, If I Were a Rich Man, Matchmaker, Matchmaker.) But regardless of whether you have a chance to see the show, the story told in the original play stands on its own as a timeless tales of humanity struggle to adapt to an ever-changing world.
**I received a review copy for an honest review.