Randy Graff, Barbara Barrie, Sally Murphy Join Alfred Molina in Fiddler on the Roof

News   Randy Graff, Barbara Barrie, Sally Murphy Join Alfred Molina in Fiddler on the Roof Rehearsals for the new David Leveaux-directed Broadway staging of Fiddler on the Roof began Dec. 1, with Randy Graff confirmed to play Golde, and veteran actress Barbara Barrie on board as Yente the matchmaker.

Randy Graff in The Long Christmas Ride Home.
Randy Graff in The Long Christmas Ride Home. Photo by Carol Rosegg

The three daughters who challenge their tradition-bound father, Tevye — to be played by above-the-title Alfred Molina — will be Sally Murphy (A Man of No Importance) as Tzeitel, Laura Michelle Kelly (a recent Eliza in London's My Fair Lady and a candidate for Mary Poppins in the future) as Hodel and Tricia Paoluccio (Debbie Does Dallas, A View From the Bridge) as Chava. The choice roles of Motel the tailor and Perchik the revolutionary are played by John Cariani and Robert Petkoff, respectively.

Fiddler on the Roof will begin Jan. 23, 2004, and open Feb. 26 at the Minskoff Theatre (the dates represent a slight change from the original announcement).

Written by Joseph Stein (book), Sheldon Harnick (lyrics) and Jerry Bock (music), Fiddler on the Roof (from the 1964-65 Broadway season) is considered one of the masterpieces of musical theatre, co-created by director-choreographer Jerome Robbins (whose dances will be re-created with the new revival; musical staging is by Jonathan Butterell).

Barbara Barrie is a veteran who was Tony Award-nominated for Company, Graff snagged a Tony for City of Angels and is currently in The Long Christmas Ride Home Off-Broadway.

The cast includes David Ayers (Fyedka), Stephen Lee Anderson (Constable), David Wohl (Lazar Wolf), Nick Danielson (Fiddler), Lea Michele (Sphritze) and Molly Emphraim (the recent Little Red in Into the Woods, as Bielke), and Yusef Bulos (Rabbi), Chris Ghelfi (Mendel), Philip Hoffman (Mordcha), Mark Lotito (Avram), Stephen Billeisen (Vladek/Russian Dancer), Randy Bobish (Yitzuk/Bottle Dancer), Melissa Bohon (Anya), Enrique Brown (Yussel/Bottle Dancer), Sean Curley, Rita Harvey (Fredel), Joy Hermalyn (Rivka), Keith Kuhl (Vladimir/Russian Dancer), Jeff Lewis (Label/Bottle Dancer), Craig Ramsay (Boris/Russian Dancer), David Rossmer (Man 1), Jonathan Sharp (Sasha), Haviland Stillwell (Surcha), Barbara Tirrell (Shandel), Tom Titone (Nachum), Francis Toumbakaris (Shlome/Bottle Dancer), Michael Tommer (ensemble), Marsha Waterbury (Mirala) and Bruce Winant (Man 2). The cast totals 40.

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The design team includes Tom Pye (scenic), Vicki Mortimer (costumes) and Tony Award winner Brian MacDevitt (lighting).

The musical is inspired by stories of Sholom Aleichem and concerns romance, family and traditions in a Russian Jewish village circa 1900. Molina will play Tevye the milkman, who lords over a family that includes pushy Golde and five daughters. Three of those daughters will test the community's sacred traditions as they fall in love with varied men.

Zero Mostel and Maria Karnilova created the roles of Tevye and Golde in 1964-65. They both won 1965 Tony Awards for their work (in the Best Actor and Best Featured Actress categories).

Nederlander Presentations is producing.

Leveaux directed Nine (for which he was Tony nommed) in the 2002-03 Broadway season. Leveaux had previously staged the Maury Yeston musical in London and Argentina. Leveaux's recent work in New York includes The Real Thing, Betrayal, Electra, A Moon for the Misbegotten and Anna Christie. He recently staged Jumpers for the Royal National Theatre in London.

Fiddler's musical director is Kevin Stites, who is also the musical director of Broadway's new Nine. The 25-piece orchestra features Don Walker's original orchestrations.

The international sensation from 1964 spawned such songs as "If I Were a Rich Man," "Matchmaker, Matchmaker," "Sunrise, Sunset" and "To Life."

Molina was nominated for a Tony Award for his work in the three-person Broadway play Art and starred in the TV series "Ladies Man." On the London stage the actor was seen in Serious Money, Speed-the Plow and Night of the Iguana.

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Jerome Robbins was Fiddler's original director- choreographer. Harold Prince was the original producer. Robbins died in 1998.

Three revivals of Fiddler have played Broadway — in 1976, 1981 and 1990. The most recent production played the Gershwin Theatre and starred Topol and Marcia Lewis as, respectively, Tevye and his wife Golde. The 1971 film, with direction by Norman Jewison, featured Topol and Norma Crane.

Fiddler opened Sept. 22, 1964 at the Imperial Theatre, won eight 1965 Tony Awards including Best Musical and played 7 previews and 3,242 regular performances.

Tickets for the new Fiddler range $35 to $100. The playing schedule is Tuesday at 7 PM, Wednesday through Saturday at 8 PM, with matinees on Wednesday and Saturday at 2 PM and Sunday at 3 PM. There will be no 2 PM Wednesday matinee performance on Jan. 28 or Feb. 4. There will be an 8 PM curtain time for the Tuesday Jan. 27 performance.  Tickets range from $35 to $100, and are available through Ticketmaster.com at (212) 307-4100.