Taking a look at one of Broadway's most beloved musicals, Fiddler on the Roof. It's revealed that one of the first reviews when the show opened in 1964 stated that there were no memorable songs. Obviously, that was not the case, as many of the tunes have become classics and were recorded by artists such as Eydie Gormé, Gwen Stefani and more. Actor Austin Pendleton, who played Motel in the original Broadway cast alongside Zero Mostel in the starring role of Tevye, reveals that he worried he'd be out of a job soon. However, the production went on to become the first Broadway musical in history to surpass 3,000 performances—it had the distinction of being the longest-running Broadway musical for almost 10 years before its record was surpassed by Grease.
Fiddler on the Roof also won nine Tony Awards, including Best Musical. It was made into a feature film in 1971 starring Topol as Tevye, with the film version winning three Oscars. We get a look at how the musical evolved, based on a series of stories by Sholem Aleichem, but learn it was also influenced by life in early 1960s New York, when "tradition"—such a huge theme of the musical, was on the wane, with religion evolving and gender roles, sexuality, and race relations going through massive changes.