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Saturday, December 7 Living

First-ever musically complete cast recording of ‘Fiddler’ is released

For the first time in its 55-year history, a musically complete cast recording of “Fiddler on the Roof” was released Friday.

The collection includes 11 songs in English that were cut from the original Broadway production in 1964. It is available for streaming and download via Time Life.

The collection is also notable for its use of Yiddish lyrics, the authentic language of the play’s shtetl, or village.

Featuring the 2018 cast of the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene’s groundbreaking production, “Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish: The 2018 Cast Recording” also includes new recordings of songs from the show that never made it into the 1964 Broadway production, sung by theatrical legends including original “Fiddler” lyricist Sheldon Harnick. All the bonus tracks are in English.

Since its debut in July 2018, “Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish” has won the 2019 Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Musical Revival; the Drama Desk Award for Best Musical Revival; a New York Drama Critics' Circle Award Special Citation; and star Steven Skybell was the winner of the 2019 Lucille Lortel Award for Best Lead Actor.

“I am thrilled that this new production is now memorialized in this wonderful recording,” said Joel Grey, who directs the current stage production. “When Zalmen Mlotek (NYTF Artistic Director) approached me, with my dear friend Hal Prince’s ringing endorsement, with the suggestion that I should direct NYTF’s Yiddish version of ‘Fiddler,’ I was intrigued by the prospect of taking on a quintessential work of the American Broadway stage translated into its underlying language - the true language of Anatevka.”

Grey not only agreed to direct the production, he also sings “When Messiah Comes” on the new cast album.

The album was produced by seven-time Grammy and Tony nominee Robert Sher (“Gypsy,” “Annie,” “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying,” “Fela!,” “Ain’t Misbehavin’ ”).

“This is the first time that a ‘Fiddler’ cast album is musically complete,” explains Sher. “All of the dance music, entrance, exit and scene change music is in here. It’s never been done before in the show’s 55-year history and we really wanted to give the listener a full experience.”

Don Walker and Larry Blank provide orchestrations for the cast recording (and the stage production), which includes performances by the NYTF cast as well as 11 bonus tracks in English sung by Sharon Azrieli, Donna McKechnie, Nancy Opel, Alysha Umphress, Mimi Besette, Lauren Molina, Richard Kind, Rosalind Harris, Alexandra Silber, Neva Small, Tam Mutu, Tom Wopat, Sheldon Harnick, Matthew Sklar, Joel Grey, Austin Pendleton, Joanna Merlin, Hal Linden and Shaina Taub, in order of appearance.

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Particularly notable are two cast members from the 1971 film adaptation: Rosalind Harris (Tzeitel) and Neva Small (Chava), two who appeared in the original Broadway cast in 1964: Joanna Merlin, Austin Pendleton and “Fiddler” lyricist Sheldon Harnick. The new album gives them the opportunity to finally release these songs that were written for, but not included in, the original Broadway production.

“Fiddler on the Roof” first opened on Broadway on Sept. 22, 1964, a musical that took audiences inside a Russian shtetl in 1905 during a period of great violence, oppression and expulsion. The play won nine Tony Awards during its eight-year run and has returned to Broadway five times since.

In July 2018, the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene mounted the Yiddish production of “Fiddler” in New York City, accompanied by English and Russian subtitles. It has been extended multiple times and will run until at least Jan. 5, 2020.

The new production “…offers a kind of authenticity no other American ‘Fiddler’ ever has…the language of Tevye and his neighbors would have spoken in Anatevka,” the New York Times reported.

TRACKLISTING:

DISC 1 Musical Numbers From the 2018 Production

(Lyrics available at www.nytf.org/fiddler-lyrics)

ACT 1

1. TRADITSYE (Tradition) ...................................Company

2. Act 1 Scene Change Music After Traditsye ..................................................Orchestra

3. SHADKHNTE, SHADKHNTE (Matchmaker, Matchmaker) ..........Hodl, Tsaytl, Khave, Shprintze, Beylke

4. Scene Change Music After Shadkhnte, Shadkhnte ................................................Orchestra

5. VEN IKH BIN A ROTSHILD (If I Were a Rich Man).......Tevye

6. SHABES BROKHE (Sabbath Prayer) ...............Tevye, Golde and Company

7. Scene Change Music After Shabes Brokhe ....Orchestra

8. LEKHAYIM (To Life, Lekhayim) ..............................Tevye, Leyzer-Volf and Men

9. ES KUMT A TOG (Any Day Now) ........................Pertshik, Shprintze, Beylke

10. Perchik & Hodel Dance ..............................Orchestra

11. ZEY HOBN ZIKH GEGEBN DOS VORT (They Made Each Other a Pledge) ..............................Tevye

12. NISIMLEKH-VENIFLO’OYS (Miracle of Miracles) ........Motl

13. DER KHOLEM (The Dream) ........Bobe Tsaytl, Tevye, Golde, Der Rov, Frume-Sore and Company

14. Wedding Intro ...........................................Orchestra

15. TOG-AYN, TOG-OYS (Sunrise, Sunset) ............Tevye, Golde and Company

16. Wedding Dance 1 .......................................Orchestra

17. Wedding Dance 2 .......................................Orchestra

ACT 2

18. Entr'acte ...................................................Orchestra

19. ITST HOB IKH DI GANTSE VELT (Now I Have Everything) ...................................Pertshik

20. TEVYES ENTFER (Tevye’s Rebuttal).......................Tevye

21. LIBST MIKH, SERTSE? (Do You Love Me?) ..............Tevye and Golde

22. DER KLANG (The Rumor) ...............Yente, Sheyndl, Mendl, Avrom and Company

23. VAYT FUN MAYN LIBER HEYM (Far From the Home I Love) .....................................Hodl

24. KHAVELE (Chavaleh)...............Tevye, Khave, Hodl, Tsaytl, Shprintze, Beylke

25. ANATEVKE (Anatevka) ...................................Company

26. Curtain Act 2 ..............................................Orchestra

27. Bows .........................................................Orchestra

28. Exit Music ..................................................Orchestra

DISC 2 Bonus Tracks

Cut Songs From the Original 1964 Broadway Production (in English)

1. We’ve Never Missed a Sabbath Yet .........Sharon Azrieli, Donna McKechnie, Nancy Opel, Alysha Umphress, Mimi Bessette, Lauren Molina

2. What a Life! ...........................................Richard Kind

3. To Marry for Love .........Rosalind Harris, Alexandra Silber, Neva Small

4. The Richest Man in Town ............................Tam Mutu

5. If I Were a Woman .................Tom Wopat, Sharon Azrieli

6. As Much as That ....................Tom Wopat, Sharon Azrieli

7. A Butcher's Soul ...............................Sheldon Harnick

8. Letters From America ........Matthew Sklar, Shaina Taub, Joel Grey

9. Dear Sweet Sewing Machine ............Austin Pendleton, Joanna Merlin

10. Get Thee Out ............Hal Linden, Richard Kind, Tam Mutu, Shaina Taub, Matthew Sklar

11. When Messiah Comes .................................Joel Grey

Monologues From the 2018 Production

12. Yente Act 1 Monologue After Traditsye (in Yiddish) ........................................Jackie Hoffman

13. Yente Act 2 Monologue After Anatevke (in Yiddish) ........................................Jackie Hoffman

Lee Steele|Features Editor, Sunday Arts & Style

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