I adore Fiddler on the Roof. I showed it at Movie Night when we got our new roof.
It took a concerted effort for the Committees and Members to raise the money for the new roof, but the old one was, at least in part, asbestos. It was held together with paint and hope. If the breeze got up, we could feel it whistling through the bar. If it rained, large spots of black mould appeared on the ceiling tiles, but only when the biscuit-tins in the attic space overflowed with rainwater.
So, we raised a lot of money and bought a new, sturdy, insulated, leak-free roof. And I showed Fiddler.
The songs are second to none. The story is universal. And Topol is a wonder.
When Tevye has to convince Golde not to let their eldest daughter marry the butcher, Lazar Wolf (because she’s already given her word to her true love, Motel), he makes up a bad dream.
All the dear departed of the family, long gone, emerge from the grave and congratulate Tevye on his daughter’s impending marriage to Motel. Golda is nonplussed. And as Tevye goes on with the story, he brings in Lazar Wolf’s late wife, Fruma Sarah.
Now, when I was a kid, she was terrifying. A total nut-job, sweeping in and out of view, screeching her head off about pearls and threatening total annihilation to Tzeitel if she marries Lazar Wolf.
Now, I’m much older, and I freaking love her. She’s a proper panto villain, with such a great face and voice for drama. And nine years later, she played Gladys Pugh on Hi-De-Hi.
I know, I was surprised, too.
Naturally, Golde is terrified and the marriage plans are changed. Such a great musical. Go and watch it.
Another fun fact for you: Topol played Tevye on stage for many years, and has estimated that he has performed the role 3,500 times. It such an iconic role, and he was my age for the film version in 1971. This gives me hope.