The National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene (NYTF), recently nominated for a 2018 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Musical Revivial (Amerike-The Golden Land), has completed its casting for the American premiere of the Yiddish language Fiddler on the Roof. Helmed by Academy Award and Tony Award winner Joel Grey, and accompanied by English and Russian translation supertitles, this highly-anticipated 8-week limited engagement, July 4th through August 26th, is set to play Off Broadway at the Museum of Jewish Heritage.
Stepping respectively into the iconic roles of Yente, Tevye, and Golde are comedian and two-time Emmy Award nominee Jackie Hoffman (Charlie And the Chocolate Factory, The Addams Family, Hairspray), and Broadway veterans Steven Skybell (Fiddler On The Roof, Wicked, The Full Monty), and Jill Abramovitz (Fiddler On The Roof, Cinderella, 9 to 5).
“This is a historic moment for the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene,” says NYTF Chief Executive Officer and two-time Tony Award-nominated producer Christopher Massimine. “With the completion of the casting, and commencement of rehearsals, we begin to visibly breathe life into this vibrant Yiddish translation that has not graced the stage in over 50 years. This American Premiere of the world’s most-recognized Jewish musical has found its way home—and its messages of survival and hope are as timely and resonant as ever. It’s NYTF’s mission, and responsibility, to use the power of storytelling and cultural legacy to connect identity and heritage for all walks of life. After all, ‘Folksbiene’ translates to ‘People’s Stage,’ and for 104 years it’s been a place where the specific becomes universal.”
The cast features: Kirk Geritano as Avram (NYTF’s The Sorceress); Samantha Hahn as Bielke (Nella the Princess Knight); Cameron Johnson as Fyedka (NYTF’s The Golden Bride); Daniel Kahn as Perchik (NYTF’s Amerike - The Golden Land); Ben Liebert as Motel (Wicked, Grease); Stephanie Lynne Mason as Hodel (Fiddler on the Roof); Rosie Jo Neddy as Chava (Carousel); Raquel Nobile as Shprintze (NYTF’s The Sorceress and Amerike – The Golden Land); Bruce Sabath as Lazar Wolf (Company); Jodi Snyder as Fruma-Sarah (Pete The Cat for Theatreworks / USA); Lauren Jeanne Thomas as The Fiddler (Once; The Goree All-Girl String Band); Bobby Underwood as The Constable (NYTF’s Amerike – The Golden Land and The Sorceress); Michael Yashinsky as Mordcha (NYTF’s The Sorceress); and, Rachel Zatcoff as Tzeitel (The Phantom of the Opera).
Rounding out the cast are: Jennifer Babiak (Grandma Tzeitel/As Cast, Understudies: Golde); Joanne Borts (Sheyndl/As Cast, Understudies: Yente, Fruma Sarah, Grandma Tzeitel); Josh Dunn (Chaim); Michael Einav (Ensemble As Cast, Understudies: Motel and Perchik); Evan Mayer (Sasha); Nick Raynor (Yussel); Kayleen Seidl (Ensemble As Cast, Understudies: Tzeitel, Hodel, Chava); Adam Shapiro (Rabbi/As Cast, Understudies: Tevye and Lazar Wolf); James Monroe Stevko (Mendel).
Joining Grey, the production all-star Creative Team includes world renowned choreographer Staś Kmieć (Fiddler on the Roof, Me and My Girl); Tony Award winners and nominees Beowulf Boritt, Set Design (Act One, Come From Away); Ann Hould-Ward, Costume Design (Beauty and the Beast, Into the Woods); Dan Moses Schreier, Sound Design (Iceman Cometh; Falsettos); Peter Kaczorowski, Lighting Design (Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, The Producers); NYTF Artistic Director Zalmen Mlotek, Conductor and Music Director (Amerike – The Golden Land, The Golden Bride); with casting by Jamibeth Margolis, C.S.A (Rebel Rebel: The Many Lives Of David Bowie (Tour), Sistas: The Musical (Off Broadway). Consulting on the production are Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning lyricist Sheldon Harnick and iconic producer/director Hal Prince.
"The Yiddish translation of Fiddler On The Roof was artfully constructed by noted Israeli actor/director Shraga Friedman in 1965, and supports the brilliance of Sheldon Harnick /Jerry Bock and Joseph Stein’s musical, while deepening the connection of the work to Sholem Aleichem’s original Tevye the Dairyman stories,” says NYTF Artistic Director Zalmen Mlotek. “Friedman, a native Yiddish speaker, was born in Warsaw and escaped the 2nd World War with his family, making their way to Tel Aviv in 1941. Well acquainted with Sholem Aleichem’s works, Friedman crafted his translation to infuse Fiddler with literary references from the original Tevye the Dairyman stories."
Fiddler on The Roof performances run from July 4th to August 26th. Preview tickets start at $52, and performance tickets at $58. For tickets, visit www.NYTF.org or call 866-811-4111. For group sales and memberships, call 212-213-2120 Ext. 204. The show will be presented in Yiddish with English and Russian supertitles. Press Opening is set for July 15th with the VIP Official Opening Gala Performance scheduled for July 16th, where NYTF will honor its longstanding Chair of the Board, Jeffrey S. Wiesenfeld.
Entering its 104th season, Tony Award-nominated and Drama Desk Award-winning National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene (NYTF), the longest consecutively producing theatre in the U.S. and the world's oldest continuously operating Yiddish theatre company was just nominated for a 2018 Drama Desk Award for last year’s production of Amerike – The Golden Land. Led by CEO Christopher Massimine and Artistic Director Zalmen Mlotek, NYTF is dedicated to creating a living legacy through the arts, connecting generations and bridging communities. NYTF aims to bring history to life by reviving and restoring lost and forgotten work, commissioning new work, and adapting pre-existing work for the 21st Century. Serving a diverse audience comprised of performing arts patrons, cultural enthusiasts, Yiddish-language aficionados and the general public, the company presents plays, musicals, concerts, lectures, interactive educational workshops and community-building activities in English and Yiddish, with English and Russian supertitles accompanying performances. NYTF provides access to a century-old cultural legacy and inspires the imaginations of the next generation to contribute to this valuable body of work. Learn more at www.NYTF.org.