Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hal Prince, and Joseph Stein speak about the process of working on the classic musical, “Fiddler on the Roof.”
Lin-Manuel Miranda: I was cast as a son in 'Fiddler on the Roof' in the sixth-grade play.
And I still remember my choreography, ♪ At three I started Hebrew ♪ school at ten I learned a trade ♪ ♪ I hear they picked a bride for ♪ me I hope uptown she's pretty ♪ Turn, ♪ The sons the sons ♪ Tradition Joseph Stein: Hey Lin! How are you? LMM: How are you?
JS: Good! LMM: We enter laughing. So?
JS: This is our, this is my little abode. And this is where I work.
LMM: You have quite a Hirschfeld collection here.
LMM: Oh this is the 'Fiddler' in Japan.
That is one of my favorite stories of yours, of the intermission at 'Fiddler' in Japan.
JS: Oh yeah, well one of the producers said 'Do they understand this show in America?'
I said 'Why do you ask?'
He says 'Because it's so Japanese!'
LMM: That sums up everything about the university of 'Fiddler.'
How did you decide what would be musicalized by Block and Harnick and what stayed?
JS: Well we decided among the three of us, we talked about it.
You know they came up with notions for songs.
Despite the fact, that we were all successful, of all of the shows I've done, that was the most difficult, together to produce it for was 'Fiddler.'
I remember one producer says, 'You know I read it and I really like it.
I like it very much, but what am I gonna do for an audience once I run out of Chitosan benefits?'
Hal Prince: In order to understand the show, since I clearly did not understand it when the guys offered it to me.
Sheldon gave me a book on shtetls.
So I signed on to do the show.
The budget was $250,000 for a musical, which today you can't do a one-man show Off-Broadway.
The guys asked me to direct it, originally, and I said I'm the wrong guy.
And we talked and I think maybe I said, 'Jerry Robinson should do it.'
And my thinking was very clear. I thought it had to have universality.