One early review of Fiddler On The Roof in 1964 – the publication shall remain nameless – decried the absence of memorable songs, but that didn’t stop the great musical (loaded, for the record, with such unmemorable songs as “Matchmaker, Matchmaker,” “If I Were A Rich Man,” “Do You Love Me?” and “Sunrise, Sunset”) from grasping a firm and lasting hold on the public’s imagination.
Now, all these decades later (and with a critically lauded and popular Yiddish-language production running Off Broadway until at least next year), Fiddler On The Roof has gotten the documentary treatment. A trailer was released today by Roadside Attractions and Samuel Goldwyn Films for Fiddler: A Miracle of Miracles.
The doc, arriving in theaters August 23, was directed by Max Lewkowicz (written by him and Valerie Thomas) and features interviews with lyricist Sheldon Harnick, producer Hal Prince, original cast member Austin Pendleton, Chaim Topol (the film version’s Tevye) and such stage figures as Lin-Manuel Miranda, Joel Grey, and Harvey Fierstein, and authors Fran Lebowitz, Calvin Trillin and Nathan Englander.
The documentary chronicles the origin story of the musical and its creative roots in early 1960s New York “when ‘tradition’ was on the wane as gender roles, sexuality, race relations and religion were evolving,” as the producers note. Archival footage and film clips from various productions the world over are included.
Fiddler: A Miracle of Miracles was produced by Lewkowicz, Thomas, Ann Oster, Rita Lerner, and Patti Kenner.
In addition to the trailer (watch it above), Roadside and Goldwyn released the official poster (which includes a more enlightened critical assessment than the one from ’64):
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