Drink, l’chaim…to life! Max Lewkowicz’s Fiddler: A Miracle of Miracles has found a home at Roadside Attractions and Samuel Goldwyn Films. The two companies have co-acquired worldwide rights to the documentary that tells the story behind one of Broadway’s most beloved musicals, Fiddler on The Roof and its creative roots in early 1960s New York. The docu is slated to be released in theatres this summer.
The film includes interviews with the show’s Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning lyricist Sheldon Harnick, legendary producer Hal Prince as well as original cast members such as Austin Pendleton. The docu takes a deep dive into the musical based on the stories by Yiddish author and playwright Sholem Aleichem and features rare archival footage of renowned choreographer Jerome Robbins.
In addition to the interviews with the creators and original cast members, the docu features numerous Broadway luminaries and cultural influencers including Hamilton godfather Lin-Manuel Miranda, Broadway icon Harvey Fierstein, authors Fran Lebowitz, Calvin Trillin and Nathan Englander as well as Chaim Topol, who starred in the film adaptation. They speak about the legacy and the film adaptation which is most appropriately viewed through the lens of the social upheaval and change in mid-20th century America. The film also explores the worldwide impact of the musical through the variety of international productions of the show, detailing how individuals of many cultures see themselves in the residents of Anatevka. The film includes major worldwide productions from Canada, The United Kingdom, the Netherlands, as well as the last Broadway production revival with Danny Burstein and Jessica Hecht.
Opening in 1964, Fiddler on the Roof held the record for the longest-running musical for almost 10 years. The legendary play won nine Tony Awards, and has spawned five Broadway revivals. It tells the story of Tevye the Milkman and his struggle to find grooms for his five daughters under the oppression of Czarist Russia and the early-20th-century pogroms threatening the Jewish community and the mythical village of Anatevka. The musical was created during the social change of 1960’s New York when gender roles, sexuality, race relations, and the role of religion in public life were being questioned.
Fiddler: A Miracle of Miracles was directed by Lewkowicz and co-written with Valerie Thomas. The film was produced by Lewkowicz, Valerie Thomas, Ann Oster, Rita Lerner, and Patti Kenner. The deal was negotiated by Peter Goldwyn of Samuel Goldwyn Films, Angel An from Roadside Attractions, and Adam J. Greene on behalf of the filmmakers.