From Oct ’05 Spotlight: The world premiere of the new musical Tevye at the Theatre Building Chicago on Aug. 13 was an unqualified triumph, and the creative team is currently planning additional performances in South Florida and Los Angeles.
“What a great concept,” enthused LA-based commercial producer Steven Ullman. “Why didn’t anyone think of it before?”
This seemed to be the universal view when people heard a sequel to Fiddler on the Roof was scheduled to premiere in Chicago on August 13th as part of STAGES 2005. “The show that interests me the most is Tevye, a piece that explores the post-Anatevka life of the beloved dairyman and his daughters from Fiddler on the Roof,” wrote Chris Jones, the Chicago Tribune’s theater critic, in his August 5th STAGES 2005 preview column…
And how do Tevye’s authors feel, after seven years of often lonely work?
Lyricist J.M. (Jim) Eisenman’s response is thoughtful: “From the very beginning, working on Tevye has been a reaffirmation of my love and affection for my late father, Jerry, and my late grandfather, Herman (Chaim), and of a profound respect for the great author, Sholom Aleichem (born Solomon Rabinowitz).
As the audience applauded and laughed at the songs, I felt proud that my grandfather, a villager from Murawa, Ukraine, had passed down to his son and to his grandson enough of his humor and heritage, that I could draw from that and from Sholom Aleichem’s wonderful characters, something that an audience of strangers could enjoy.
No matter what happens further with our show, I know that there were two more members of the audience at that first performance who were there with me that night who had a great time. By the way, I think I heard one of them whispering in my ear that a full production would make him even happier.”
Eisenman’s partner, composer Thomas (Tom) Adams, on the other hand, is simply bursting now with pure exuberance: “What a wonderful experience this has been. Just getting accepted into the Festival was a shock for me, then finding out that Avi was going to be our Tevye, then seeing the show for the first time… I flew home without needing the plane!”
Click HERE to read my complete feature on Tevye for the Israeli website All About Jewish Theatre
Follow link to read my WJD feature on Tevye’s Tevye Avi Hoffman: