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Fiddler on the Roof (2004 Broadway Revival Cast) Cast Recording

4.7 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Alfred Molina stars as Tevye in this new production of the American musical classic, with a book by Joseph Stein, music by Jerry Bock and lyrics by Sheldon Harnick. Tony and Olivier Award nominee Molina was last seen on Broadway in the Tony-winning Best Play Art; his films credits include Raiders of the Lost Ark, Magnolia, Frida and this summer's upcoming This new production preserved here in a sumptuous 75-minute CD (with songs never before recorded), performed by a cast of 40 and a 25-piece orchestra's already setting records of it's own.

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It is difficult but possible to put your stamp on a role closely identified with a particular performer. Just look at Bernadette Peters taking on Mama Rose in Gypsy or Patti LuPone tackling Mrs Lovett in Sweeney Todd. Alfred Molina had a similar challenge when he signed on to play the Jewish dairyman Tevye: who could forget Zero Mostel in the original production or even Topol in the movie? Molina wisely plays the part down, steering clear of Mostel's hamming, but then he goes overboard in the other direction and too often his characterization is colorless rather than subtle. This actually applies to David Leveaux's overall production, which lacks energy. This recording is mostly for completists, and the original cast album still stands as the definitive one. --Elisabeth Vincentelli
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Product Details

  • Performer: Jerry Bock, Sheldon Harnick, Alfred Molina, Randy Graff
  • Audio CD (June 8, 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Cast Recording
  • Label: P.S. Classics
  • ASIN: B00023GFYK
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #123,718 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
When the new Broadway Cast Recording of FIDDLER ON THE ROOF arrived in stores on June 8th, I already had three FIDDLER CD's on my shelf: the Original Cast Recording from 1964 starring Zero Mostel, the film soundtrack from 1971 staring Topol, and a Yiddish recording made in Israel in 1965 staring Shmuel Rodenski. So did I buy the new CD? Immediately! Furthermore, having listened to it several times already, I am certain that, as the years go by, this is the one I will reach for first whenever I'm cooking big dinners or driving long distances.
While no one else "deedle dums" as well as Zero Mostel, this recording removes all doubts: despite any buzz you may have heard when the production opened last February, Alfred Molina is a splendid Tevye. Since this is the first version actually made with the long form CD in mind, it contains far more material than any prior version. So while Molina and cast cover all the beloved moments from 1964, we also get Tevye's three soliloquies and Molina performs them all brilliantly. No one who listens to this recording would ever describe Tevye as "a man desperately clinging to Tradition." The soliloquies make it clear that Tevye is a true mensch, a man who gives himself to each new challenge, and makes each difficult decision with a strong mind and a big heart.
Robert Petkoff does a terrific job as Perchik the revolutionary (lover of second daughter Hodel). His Perchik is virile and ardent, investing his big number "Now I Have Everything" with all the passionate self-revelation it requires. Norman Jewison eliminated this song from the 1971 soundtrack. Big mistake!
Nancy Opel gives uncommon depth to her Yente.
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Format: Audio CD
Let's face it...Zero Mostel IS Tevye. The same as Merman was Rose in GYPSY. With that said, Alfred Molina turns in a surprisingly good performance...at least on record. When the musical opened his personal reviews were ho hum but a few months later, when the recording was made, he has made the part his own.

Technically this revival is far superior to the 1964 recording. Wisely, a lot more dialogue was included and quite a bit of dance music.

As Golde, Randy Graff, a Broadway veteran, gives a nice performance. Nancy Opel, as Yente, is funny and on the spot.

Most of the actors were vocally great. But it is Molina who carries the show. His is a subtler Tevye than Mostel's. In fact, his scenes are more touching and warm.

This is definitely a plus to any musical theatre library.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This cast album to the 2004 Broadway revival of FIDDLER ON THE ROOF is, as touted, the most complete album of the Jerry Bock-Sheldon Harnick score to date, including the brand-new song "Topsy-Turvy". Alfred Molina essays the role of Tevye, still most-associated with Zero Mostel and Topol, and does a credible job. Though he occassionally lacks the joyful spirit and charm of his predecessors, his performance is solid (and no doubt the performance on disc cannot compare to the live performance). Randy Graff (the original Fantine in Broadway's LES MISERABLES) is a vibrant and vital Golde (and perhaps the most beautifully-sung). Leading the daughters is the ravishing Laura-Michelle Kelly as Hodel. Kelly is in my opinion the most affecting actress to play the role since Julia Migenes in the original cast. Nancy Opel is a fantastic Yente (Opel was a late replacement for Barbara Barrie, who left the show during previews). Opel gets the brand-new song "Topsy-Turvy", which is on the whole not very memorable, indeed the song it replaced, "The Rumour" was a one-joke number that wasn't too great, either. This sparkling new FIDDLER features a tight and strong cast. Highly recommended for fans of the score.
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Format: Audio CD
Having just returned to New York for the express purpose of seeing the "Fiddler" revival, I immediately purchased this recording. I am old enough that I actually saw Zero Mostel in the original production, which I enjoyed, although I was only 16 at the time. But Molina, a classically trained Shakespearian actor, British to the core, has taken the role of Tevye and made it his own by interjecting a huge dose of subtle British irony. His is a joyful Tevye, but with darker inflections. As Tevye, he makes plain the essential conflict in the character. His Tevye IS, in fact, an intelligent man, self-aware, viewing his culture, traditions, and future with a mixture of commitment, curiosity, and - yes - a little detachment and even fear. This Tevye is not a caricature, but a constant reminder that historically, all was NOT well in the Russia of 1905. The true success of this revival is that the manner in which Tevye is played by Molina enables the actors to play as a true ensemble, and so imbue the music with new life, new energy, and new meaning.
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Format: Audio CD
I have been very upset by the unnecessarily harsh criticisms that this recording has received, an example being the reader review before mine. Though I have not seen the Broadway production, any reservations people may have with Leveaux's reinterpretation should not colour anyone's view on the album. What Mr. Krasker, Mr. Chaffin and the PS Classics team have brought musicals listeners is an altogether new and exciting exploration of this stage classic. The score has never sounded better with the aid of a first class cast and orchestra, not to mention the flawless technical aspects of the release.
No, Molina's Tevye does not sound like Topol - and I applaud that. Yet the delightful jewishness of the role, the light philosophising and the fatherly tone is still all there. And he injects the lyrics with great meaning and life.
The rest of the cast is similarly first rate, Laura Michelle Kelly deserving of particular note. Her rendition of 'Far From The Home I Love' is the most heartfelt I have come across; she also makes the listener really understand the dilemma she's facing. Her contribution alone would be worth the price of the disc; the brilliance of the rest of the team elevate it to being an absolute must.
Ignore the negative comments of traditionalists - PS Classics' 'Fiddler' is as finest (and most complete) cast album yet of this joyous score. I believe it genuinely presents the piece for a brand new generation of listeners - and succeeds wonderfully.
Bravo!
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