Preview | Fiddler: A Miracle of Miracles - About

Great Performances Presents Fiddler: A Miracle of Miracles, First Documentary on the Iconic Musical

Featuring interviews and commentary from “Fiddler on the Roof” composer and lyricist Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick, Joel Grey, Topol, Harvey Fierstein,

Lin-Manuel Miranda, and many other famous fans

Premieres Friday, November 13 at 9 p.m. on PBS (check local listings), pbs.org/broadwayonpbs and the PBS Video app

Synopsis

Fiddler: A Miracle of Miracles is the first documentary to chronicle the complete story of the international Broadway blockbuster musical “Fiddler on the Roof” by exploring the unexpected richness of its themes as well as its extensive reach across time and cultures. “Fiddler on the Roof” is the tale of Jewish immigrants coming to America, of immigrants and refugees trying to escape persecution in their homeland, of the fraying of tradition, generational tension and the loss of roots. Featuring rare archival footage, the documentary also includes personal experiences and insights into the show’s timeless impact from “Fiddler on the Roof” composer and lyricist Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick as well commentary from former cast and creative members along with famous fans impacted by the musical, including Joel Grey, Topol, Harvey Fierstein, Harold Prince, Itzhak Perlman, Stephen Sondheim, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and many others.

Notable Featured Talent Include:

  • Jerry Bock, Tony-winning “Fiddler on the Roof” composer
  • Sheldon Harnick, Tony-winning “Fiddler” lyricist
  • Joseph Stein, “Fiddler” librettist
  • Stephen Sondheim, Tony-winning composer, lyricist and playwright
  • Harold Prince, Tony-winning director of the original Broadway production of “Fiddler”
  • Lin-Manuel Miranda, Tony-winning composer, lyricist, actor and playwright
  • Harvey Fierstein, Tony-winning playwright, librettist and actor in “Fiddler” from 2005-06
  • Chaim Topol, Tony-nominated actor who played Tevye in the 1971 “Fiddler” feature film
  • Norman Jewison, Academy Award winner and director of the “Fiddler” feature film
  • Itzhak Perlman, GRAMMY-winning violinist
  • Joel Grey, Tony-winning actor and director of the 2018 revival of “Fiddler” in Yiddish
  • Bartlett Sher, Tony-winning director of the 2015-16 revival of “Fiddler”
  • Gurinder Chadha, director of “Bend It Like Beckham”
  • Paul Michael Glaser, actor who played Perchik in the “Fiddler” feature film
  • Neva Small, actor who played Chava in the “Fiddler” feature film
  • Michael Bernardi, actor and Herschel Bernardi’s son
  • Danny Burstein, Tony-nominated actor who played Tevye in the 2015 “Fiddler” Broadway revival
  • Ted Chapin, Chief Creative Officer of Rodgers & Hammerstein
  • Jessica Hecht, Tony-nominated actress who played Golde in the 2015 “Fiddler” Broadway revival
  • Fran Lebowitz, author and journalist
  • Austin Pendleton, Tony-nominated director
  • Samantha Massell, actor who played Hodel in the 2015 “Fiddler” Broadway revival
  • Alexandra Silber, actress and Tzeitel in the 2015 “Fiddler” Broadway revival
  • Melanie Moore, dancer and actor who played Chava in the 2015 “Fiddler” Broadway revival
  • Steven Skybell, actor and Tevye in the Yiddish production of “Fiddler”
  • Charles Isherwood, theater critic
  • Calvin Trillin, journalist and author
  • Joshua Mostel, actor and son of Zero Mostel 

Noteworthy Facts

  • The original 1964 Broadway production of “Fiddler on the Roof” was the first musical in theater history to surpass 3,000 performances and held the record for longest-running Broadway musicals for nearly a decade
  • The winner of nine Tony Awards, including best musical, the original production was produced by the legendary Harold Prince, directed by theater icon Jerome Robbins and starred beloved actor Zero Mostel as Tevye
  • The musical is based on the short stories of Sholem Alecheim, considered one of the founding fathers of modern Yiddish literature, renowned for his humorous and poignant tales of life in the shtetl at the turn of the century
  • Jerome Robbins made sure that every single character, including the many members of the chorus, had a name
  • The title “Fiddler on the Roof” was inspired by a painting by Marc Chagall, and Boris Aronson’s set design in the 1964 staging paid homage to the artist’s work

Short TV Listing

Travel through the musical’s history featuring appearances by Jerry Bock, Sheldon Harnick and more.

Long TV Listing

Travel through the history of the iconic musical exploring its reach across time and cultures featuring appearances by composer and lyricist Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick as well as famous fans including Lin-Manuel Miranda, Topol and more.

Series Overview

Throughout its more than 40-year history on PBS, Great Performances has provided an unparalleled showcase of the best in all genres of the performing arts, serving as America’s most prestigious and enduring broadcaster of cultural programming. The series is available for streaming simultaneously on all station-branded PBS platforms, including PBS.org and the PBS Video app, which is available on iOS, Android, Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Chromecast. PBS station members can view episodes via Passport (contact your local PBS station for details).

Production Credits

A Dog Green Productions Film, Great Performances – Fiddler: A Miracle of Miracles is directed by Max Lewkowicz. The documentary is produced and written by Max Lewkowicz and Valerie Thomas. Executive producers are Ann Oster, Patti Kenner and Rita Lerner. Great Performances is produced by THIRTEEN Productions LLC for WNET. Bill O’Donnell is series producer and David Horn is executive producer.

Underwriters

Major funding for “Broadway’s Best” on Great Performances is provided by The Joseph and Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation, the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Arts Fund, Rosalind P. Walter, the LuEsther T. Mertz Charitable Trust, Seton J. Melvin, the Kate W. Cassidy Foundation, Jody and John Arnhold, The Starr Foundation, The Philip and Janice Levin Foundation, the Thea Petschek Iervolino Foundation, the Merle and Shirley Harris Fund, Ellen and James S. Marcus, and PBS.  Funding for Fiddler: A Miracle of Miracles is also provided by Bruce Ratner, George Klein, Peter Kalikow and others with a complete list is available from PBS.

 Websites:

http://www.pbs.org/gperf, http://www.facebook.com/GreatPerformances, @GPerfPBS #GreatPerformancesPBS #BroadwayOnPBS

Transcript Print

♪ Tradition It became one of Broadway's best musicals ever.

♪ Tradition Joseph Stein: A musical about a bunch of old Jews in Russia.

'Fiddler on the Roof' JS: What are you out of your mind?

From age to stage see how 'Fiddler' triumphed on Broadway, around the world, and through the decades.

Hal Prince: It was spectacular!

Lin-Manuel Miranda: 'Fiddler' captures big moments in our lives.

♪ Sunrise, sunset LMM: Tradition breaking, tradition renewing.

Discover 'Fiddler: A Miracle of Miracles' on 'Great Performances.'