“Fiddler on the Roof. The opening night of the first Broadway production—opening night on Broadway—was September 22nd, 1964. So a month from now, we will celebrate the first opening night performance of Fiddler on the Roof on Broadway.
Let me tell something you that you may or may not already know. Fiddler on the Roof was not expected to succeed. Fiddler on the Roof was expected to fail. Potential backers were merciless when the Fiddler team went out for funding. “What are you going to do when you run out of Hadassah ladies?” they sneered. Now forget about the fact that we will never run out of Hadassah ladies, just ponder this for yourself: Obviously the number of Hadassah ladies—may they live long and prosper—is a bare fraction of a fraction of the number of people who have now seen Fiddler on the Roof in the past 50 years, right? Of course right! So how did this thing that was supposed to fail become such a success that 50 years later we are celebrating its 50th Anniversary?
One of the wonderful things about an anniversary date is that it gives us an occasion to take stock of where we have come from, and then hopefully use those reflections as a springboard to where we might go next… And that’s what I want to do today. Here we are at the 50th Anniversary. Now where do we want to be at the 75th Anniversary?
Over 400 years after Shakespeare first performed Hamlet, people are still talking about Hamlet, and I completely believe that a hundred years from now, 200 years from now, maybe even 400 years from now, people will still be talking about Fiddler On The Roof too. Why? Because Fiddler On The Roof is so perfectly constructed and so timely and so beautiful that it is now one of those resonate classics that people will talk about as long people care about culture.”
See all PowerPoint slides used in this presentation: 14Aug11YIVO
Bottom Photo: Good News/Bad News = The bright light was great for photos… but not so great for people trying to see the screen… Oy!
Photo Credits: Cindy Stern (8/13/14)