(Limelight). The full text and complete lyrics, as well as photographs from the original production. "One of the great works of the American musical theatre. It is darling, touching, beautiful, warm, funny and inspiring. It is a work of art." John Chapman, Daily News
For fans of the original musical, American theater, and Jewish history.
I received this book for free from Blogging for Books in return for my honest, unbiased opinion.
This is the complete libretto of the famous musical, together with the lyrics of the hilarious and heartbreaking songs. It is not a volume of sheet music -- just the beautiful story of Tevye, the traditions he agrees to
This is a truly great work, saturated with dark humor and with love. I hope, since I've made that point, it is also OK for me to mention how much I enjoyed reading, in black and white,
If I were a rich man
Daidle deedle daidle
Digguh digguh deedle daidle dum,
All day long I'd biddy biddy bum,
If I were a wealthy man.
Wouldn't have to work hard,
Daidle deedle daidle
Digguh digguh deedle daidle dum,
If I were a biddy biddy rich
Digguh digguh deedle daidle man. (p. 27)
All the words of the play and songs are here. There is NO sheet music though, just the script and lyrics.
This release coincides with the 50th anniversary of the Broadway premier.
As an extra, the original September 22, 1964
Each of his daughters is trying to find their way in the world and to begin to make decisions about their life and fall in love. Tevye's decisions and beliefs are put to the test when he must decide which is more dear to him, his family's happiness or his traditions.
I believe the reason this play is still so relevant today is because of the message of the story at its core. Despite the humor and the setting, the real story is about one man trying to understand the world as he watches it change around him. Whether it's Jewish people in 1905 Russia or hippies in the 1970s or millennials and their intrusive technology, children will always challenge and question the world in which they are raised. The author created relatable characters, full of humor and warmth. They all just want to be loved in their own way, despite the world changing around them.
BOTTOM LINE: See the musical if you get the chance so you can enjoy the full experience of the songs that have become so famous (Tradition, If I Were a Rich Man, Matchmaker, Matchmaker.) But regardless of whether you have a chance to see the show, the story told in the original play stands on its own as a timeless tales of humanity struggle to adapt to an ever-changing world.
**I received a review copy for an honest review.
As I read the book, I realized I recalled many of the lines – a very comforting feeling. In addition, I like having the lyrics available because I find it fun to follow along when listening to an old record of the original cast (yes, I still have my vinyl collection from the ‘60s as well as a working turntable).
I particularly enjoyed reading the list of the original cast in the book … it brought back great memories. Of course, Zero Mostel was wonderful as Tevye. But Bea Arthur was Yente – I did not remember that! And I loved her work in so many things she did later.
Although I cannot count the number of times I have seen Fiddler performed onstage, and I truly appreciate having this book …. I must admit it has been a really long time since I’ve seen the movie. Hmm, I think it is about time to do that, too!
As you can see the play perform itself in
Aficionados of the twentieth-century American musical theater are well acquainted with Tevye’s travails, as chronicled in the highly acclaimed Fiddler on the Roof, with book by Joseph Stein, music by Jerry Bock, and lyrics by Sheldon Harnick. On the fiftieth anniversary of the play’s Broadway premiere, Crown Publishers, a division of Random House (noted for decades for its hardcover editions of Broadway plays), has reissued the book of this beloved musical. All of the dialogue and the lyrics of the charming songs are here, though not the score.
Reading the libretto, as opposed to watching the movie or a stage production, facilitates contemplating the timelessness of the story. In every era, the new pushes aside the old, and circumstances beyond one’s control change one’s life. The conclusion of the play, when Tevye and the other residents of his village are scattered by a pogrom, not knowing whether they will ever see loved ones again, recalls the dispersal of U.S. Gulf Coast residents as a result of Hurricane Katrina.
Those who enjoy viewing the movie or play will find that reading Fiddler of the Roof adds a new dimension to their appreciation of it. Newcomers to Tevye’s story will find a well-constructed, seemingly simple but deeply wise story of love, loss, and life.
I heard the music in my mind as I read the words, and
Even if you are unfamiliar with the Broadway/Hollywood versions, you might appreciate reading a witty yet poignant story of tradition, change, loss, and gain. A keeper for my shelves!
The book itself is gift-quality lovely, with elegant artwork showing the fiddler on an attractive yellow background. I thought it might feel awkward reading a play but it took less than two pages for me to forget about the different format and settle right in to the story. While this book avoids political discussion by sticking exclusively to the script of Fiddler on the Roof, I somehow left the story feeling more aware that things like this really happened to people than I have from watching the movie. I like books that lead me to more understanding of people and history.
I think a person who has never seen the movie would enjoy the book and if asked, I would say, “Read the book first, and then watch the movie. Fiddler on the Roof makes one both laugh and think. You’re in for a double treat!”