Fiddler on the Roof Criticism

Joseph Stein
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When Fiddler on the Roof had its first out-of-town try-out in Detroit, Michigan, there was debate over whether the show would ever have the mass appeal to make it to Broadway. A reviewer from Variety predicted it would only have a slim chance to be successful. Still, good word of mouth spread through its next stop in Washington, D.C. By the time Fiddler reached Broadway, it was a blockbuster hit from the first night, September 22,1964. Fiddler on the Roof was the hit of the season and played on Broadway until July 2, 1972.

Still critics were unsure about the sustained appeal of such an ethnically specific play. Theophilus Lewis in America wrote, "Not that extravagant praise of Fiddler involves more than a remote risk." Nonetheless critics praised the source material, Sholom Aleichem's stories. Howard Taubman in the New York Times asked, "Who would have guessed that the stories of...

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This section contains 656 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Fiddler on the Roof Study Guide
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Fiddler on the Roof from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.