Unorthodox

If I Were a Fiddler

Ep. 145: To celebrate a new all-Yiddish production of ‘Fiddler on the Roof,’ we take a look at the play’s enduring cultural significance, and talk to the actors about learning Yiddish for their roles

August 2, 2018

Tradition, tradition! In honor of a new Yiddish production of Fiddler on the Roof, we’re heading back to Anatevka. Our Jewish guest is Rachel Zatcoff, who plays Tzeitel in the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene Off-Broadway production of Fidler afn Dakh. Our Gentile of the week is James Monroe Števko, who plays Mendl, the rabbi’s son. They tell us about learning Yiddish for the show and what it’s like working with director Joel Grey and Jackie Hoffman, who plays Yenta. We also sit down with Alisa Solomon, author of Wonder of Wonders: A Cultural History of Fiddler on the Roof, to discuss the cultural significance of Fiddler on the Roof, which first opened on Broadway in 1965, as well as the Sholem Aleichem stories the play is based on.

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This episode is sponsored by One Day University. Get 20% off your ticket to see Mark Oppenheimer’s Oct. 14 lecture on religion in America by using the code MARK when you register at OneDayU.com.

Unorthodox is a smart, fresh, fun weekly take on Jewish news and culture hosted by Mark Oppenheimer, Stephanie Butnick, and Liel Leibovitz. You can listen to individual episodes here or subscribe on iTunes.

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