Howard Kissel of The Daily News first reported that composer Bock and lyricist Harnick, who split as collaborators 34 years ago after The Rothschilds, penned a new number for Act Two of the new Broadway revival of Fiddler. The song reportedly came at the suggestion of director David Leveaux (Nine), who hoped the somber and ballad-kissed second act would include a more animated tune.
Historically, a comic song called "The Rumor" had served that purpose, but was less a plot number and more a utility tune to cover a scene change.
When the new Broadway revival begins performances Jan. 23 at the Minskoff Theatre, Barbara Barrie as Yente will sing the new "Topsy-Turvy." Larry Hochman will orchestrate it, according to sources in the community.
The development process being how it is — experimentation and exploration are always part of the living theatre — there is no guarantee the song will remain in the show, but expect early birds to report about the number on internet message boards.
Bock and Harnick, who wrote scores for The Body Beautiful, Tenderloin, Fiorello!, She Loves Me, The Apple Tree and 1970's The Rothschilds, broke up after that last show due to artistic and business differences arising from the project. Collaborating again was "comfortable" Harnick told The Daily News.
Bock and Harnick would never equal the success they had in their creative marriage. After Bock, Harnick took on other collaborators such as Joe Raposo (A Wonderful Life), Michel Legrand (The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, A Christmas Carol) and Richard Rodgers (Rex) and also wrote his own music (Dragons), and penned lyrics for operas and operettas. Bock wrote his own lyrics for scattered post Harnick projects, seemingly more content to rest on his rich body of work.
Alfred Molina stars as Tevye in the new production of the 1964 classic, Fiddler on the Roof. The rest of the score, including the lesser-known "Now I Have Everything" and "Chavaleh," remain in the show that gave the world "Matchmaker, Matchmaker," "Miracle of Miracles," "Sunrise, Sunset," "Tradition," "To Life" and more.