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YMMV / Fiddler on the Roof

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  • Awesome Music: A lot of it. Particularly worth mentioning, in the film adaptation the overture includes a long, virtuosic violin cadenza performed by Isaac Stern.
    • "Sunrise, Sunset" is still performed at weddings to this day. And now there's two same-sex versions written by the original lyricist, Sheldon Harnick.
  • Broken Base: Topol being cast in the film instead of the original Tevye Zero Mostel was extremely controversial, with some fans even accusing it of sending the fragile-egoed Mostel into a depression that ultimately led to his death six years later.
    • The 2004 production directed by David Leveaux is not exactly revered. While some critics of the original musical may have called it "too Jewish", the critics of this production claimed it to be "not Jewish enough". The main issue was the casting of British-Italian-Spanish Alfred Molina as Tevye. And even later in the run when Irish-American Rosie O Donnell portrayed Golde.
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  • Ear Worm: "Tradition" (especially the fiddle solo), "L'Chaim", "If I Were a Rich Man", and "Matchmaker, Matchmaker" are probably the worst.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: Not exactly funny, per se, but Perchik participating in the October Revolution definitely counts.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: The play was a surprise hit in Japan, where the theme of crumbling tradition resonated heavily with the elderly generation.
  • Nightmare Fuel: The movie version of Fruma Sarah's solo in "The Dream". Ironically, since it's actually a nightmare, and subverted unless it didn't Narm the crap out of you.
  • One-Scene Wonder: Fruma Sarah. It's also a theatre role where hamming it up is required, along with a harness (or a cast member with a sturdy set of shoulders).
  • Protagonist Title Fallacy: Teyve is not the fiddler on the roof; however, the fiddler represents the inhabitants of Anatevka: trying to play a pleasant old tune in perilous circumstances.
  • Retroactive Recognition: The movie score won the first Academy Award for an up-and-coming young orchestrator named John Williams.
    • Long before she became known as The Divine Miss M, Bette Midler played Tzeitel during the early Broadway run. It was her first Broadway role.
  • Signature Song: "Tradition," which opens the show. To the extent that if you mention Fiddler to a group of people who have even a casual knowledge of it, someone will inevitably sing out, "TRADITIOOOOOOOON! TRADITION!"
  • Values Dissonance: The original Tevye the Dairyman stories by Sholem Aleykhem, on which the musical is based, portrayed Tevye's decision to disown Chava after she marries Fyedka in a more positive light. It was what any good Jewish father of the time would do if his child chose to marry a Gentile (and to really hammer this home, Sholem Aleykhem has Chava abandon Fyedka and return to Judaism at the end). People today who see the musical (which doesn't really take a side), though, usually come away from it thinking Tevye's actions toward her are excessive and cruel.
    • Though the movie does show that the father feels trapped by his traditions at this point, but also that she was kinda stupid to run off and expect everything to be hunky dory. Still, it is easy to see it as a Kick the Dog moment for Tevye.
    • And it's important to remember that it's not just culture, it's religion. By accepting Chava's marriage he would be rejecting his faith, and he wasn't willing to do that. In fact, to him his daughter rejecting their faith to marry a Christian is worse than her dying, as he believes it has eternal consequences.
    • He does unbend a little bit at the very end when the family is having to leave their land and Chava comes to say goodbye. Specifically, he gives her a quiet "God be with you" and subtly endorses his wife and other daughter's reaching out to her.
      • May be swinging back around to Values Resonance given the growing awareness of the need for in-group loyalty and the utter pointlessness of individual relationships in the face of systemic oppression.


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