Fiddler on the Roof is an essential part of Broadway traditions at this point — as crucial to the American songbook and stage as Oklahoma or West Side Story. And yet, for a time, it seemed likely to be a massive flop.
In a new documentary from Roadside Attractions and Samuel Goldwyn Films, the minds behind Fiddler on the Roof, including lyricist Sheldon Harnick and producer Hal Prince, as well as other Broadway luminaries like Lin-Manuel Miranda, Joel Grey, Harvey Fierstein, and Danny Burstein, reflect on the musical’s miraculous journey to cultural touchpoint.
The first trailer showcases Fiddler: A Miracle of Miracle’s blend of new, intimate interviews, rare footage of rehearsal and various productions, and the sweeping soundtrack of the musical’s inimitable score. The documentary promises audiences a chance to discover the origin story of Fiddler on the Roof, and its creative roots in early 1960s New York where “traditions” were crumbling left and right as new modes of thinking about race, sexuality, gender, and religion evolved.
It’s unlikely fodder for a musical — an orthodox Jewish community struggling to deal with pogroms and shifting ideas around the world. But it’s endured as one of the most popular shows in the American theater canon. As Lin-Manuel Miranda, who performed “Tradition” at his own wedding, says in the trailer, “Fiddler captures those big moments in our lives — moments of transition; moments of tradition breaking; tradition renewing.”
Watch the trailer above for more. Fiddler: A Miracle of Miracles hits theaters August 23.