Fiddler on the Roof is a musical that opened on Broadway in 1964 at the Imperial Theater. The production was so successful that it ran for a record 3,242 performances and won 9 Tony Awards from 10 nominations. Many other productions of the musical have occurred since the first production ended and in 1971 and a film adaptation of the musical was also very successful. The story is based in Russia just after the turn of the 20th century and follows a poor Jewish man named Tevye and his family. The story is based on Tevye and his Daughters written by Sholem Aleichem and published in 1894.
The music for the production was written by Jerry Bock. For his work on the production he won two Tony Awards in 1965 for Best Composer and Lyricist, and Best Musical. The most well recognized song in the musical is the song “If I Were a Rich Man,” in which the main character sings about his dreams of a better life.
The lyrics for the musical were written by Sheldon Harnick and he shared the two Tony Awards in 1965 with Jerry Brock.
The book (libretto), which is basically the script for the spoken parts of the musical to tie the production together, was written by playwright Joseph Stein. He shared the Best Musical Tony Award with Bock and Harnick and also won the Best Author of a Musical award.
Did you know?
The original musical held the record for the longest running Broadway show for almost 10 years until it was overtaken by the hit musical Grease. 40 years after the original production finished Fiddler on the Roof is still in the top 20 longest running Broadway shows of all time!