Context


Fiddler on the Roof is a musical based on Yiddish author Sholom Aleichem’s book of short stories, entitled Tevye and His Daughters and Other Tales. The musical was originally called Tevye, but the title was changed to Fiddler on the Roof, inspired by Marc Chagall’s painting The Fiddler. Throughout, the play employs the metaphor of the joyous fiddler delicately balancing atop a treacherous roof.

When Stein, Harnick, and Bock began collaborating on this musical, it was important that the fullness of the characters rather than their cultural or historical significance be central to the

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