Fiddler on the Roof documentary

“Fiddler”: A theater giant, molded from tradition

Some of Broadway’s best minds were trying to say what their prospective musical was about.
It had this dairyman … and his daughters … and the czar’s soldiers … and …
But what, director Jerome Robbins asked, was it really about? Finally, someone said it was about tradition. “Write that!” Robbins said.
That story is told in “Fiddler: A Miracle of Miracles,” a richly crafted documentary at 9 p.m. Friday, Nov. 13), on PBS. The film tells of a musical some people felt would fail.
It didn’t. “Fiddler on the Roof” (shown here) won nine Tony awards and ran for 3,242 performances – at the time, the longest-running show in Broadway history. It’s had five New York revivals, six tours and a movie. Read more…

Burst of Broadway brightens PBS

Each year, PBS gives us a brief burst of Broadway.
For several Fridays, it has a mix of musicals and plays and such. Most years, that’s important for those of us who live far from New York; this year – no Broadway, no tours – it’s important for everyone.
That starts Friday, with James Corden in a wild comedy. It follows with a documentary … a musical rerun … and a Lea Salonga (shown here) concert, peppered with Broadway and movie hits.
There are flaws here and there. The comedy and the musical both suffer from weak scripts; one is salvaged (mostly) by gifted actors, the other by rousing, Irving Berlin songs. But the documentary is extraordinary – a rich, 56-year, six-nation journey. And Salonga is magnificent. Read more…