Photo Coverage: Sheldon Harnick Celebrates 50 Years of Fiddler at 92Y

Generations around the world have grown up with Fiddler on the Roof and such unforgettable, iconic songs as "If I Were a Rich Man" and "Sunrise, Sunset." But getting to the "final Fiddler" was a fascinating process, and last night at the 92Y's last presentation of the Lyrics & Lyricists season-lyricist Sheldon Harnick took the 92Y audience inside the creation and history of this cultural landmark. Check out photos from the event below!

Artistic director Rob Fisher led a cast featuring vocalists Judy Blazer, Kerry Conte, Jonathan Hadary, Ross Lekites Alan Schmuckler, and Leah Horowitz,performing such songs as "We've Never Missed a Sabbath Yet" (the show's original opening number; portions of its melody later heard in "Matchmaker, Matchmaker"), "That's Life" (cut before it could even be rehearsed), and "Dear, Sweet Sewing Machine" (loved by cast and creative team, but not by out-of-town tryout audiences). Familiar melodies with unfamiliar lyrics, rarely heard words and music, even lines never set to a tune-Sheldon Harnick brought Fiddler on the Roof "to life" as he never has before.

"What can we add to the books and studies about the importance of Fiddler? The voice of Sheldon Harnick" said Rob Fisher. "This is Sheldon's long-awaited opportunity to share the decision-making process that resulted in the final score for one of the most beloved pieces of musical theater of all time. He's sharing the songs that led to the songs we know-many not heard since the show's pre-Broadway tryout in Detroit, and some that have never been heard. Along the way, you'll hear bits of music and lyrics that were developed into the familiar score we know." Rob further notes that Sheldon wrote the lyrics for the nearly 50 songs that were tried before the score was finalized, using only one-third of them.

"Rob Fisher and I are preparing a program that will feature twenty of the more interesting songs written for Fiddler on the Roof, but never used," says Sheldon Harnick. "I'm having a wonderfully nostalgic time revisiting these songs."

92Y Celebrating Fiddler runs May 30-June 1.


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From This Author Stephen Sorokoff