Fiddler on the Roof Revival: Abridged

                         FIDDLER ON THE ROOF 2004 REVIVAL: 
                            A "Broadway Abridged" Script
                                                            By Gil Varod

                                   We are in the Minskoff Fighting Arena,
                                   home to the "MINSKOFF CURSE", which has
                                   affected financial catastrophes such as
                                   "The Scarlet Pimpernel", "Saturday
                                   Night Fever" and "Dance of the
                                   Vampires".  

                                   In the left corner, weighing in at one
                                   tony nomination for the Roundabout revival 
                                   "Nine": hotstuff director DAVID
                                   LEVEAUX.

                                   DIRECTOR DAVID LEVEAUX
            Revising the hell out of "Nine" wasn't enough for me, so I'M
            BACK, once again proving that I should be sticking to
            directing plays and not musicals!

                                   In the right corner, weighing in at
                                   nine tony awards, three Broadway
                                   revivals, and as many synagogue
                                   productions as high school productions,
                                   is the once-longest-running-show
                                   FIDDLER ON THE ROOF.

                                   FIDDLER ON THE ROOF
            Bite me Leveaux, I'm so solid a show that not even YOU can't
            ruin me.

                                   DIRECTOR DAVID LEVEAUX
            We'll see about that!

                                   The coin toss is called, and FIDDLER ON
                                   THE ROOF gets the first move.

                                   FIDDLER ON THE ROOF
            I'm bringing out my first song... Tradition!  Try as you
            might Leveaux, there is no way you're going to ruin this
            classic Broadway opening!





            SCENE: A BUNCH OF TREES ON WOODEN PLANKS IN WHAT IS
            SUPPOSEDLY ANATEVKA, BUT LOOKS MORE LIKE THE OUTDOOR SECTION
            OF "TAVERN ON THE GREEN".

                                   ALFRED MOLINA (AS TEVYE)
            An upcoming Spiderman villain starring as Tevye.  Sounds
            crazy no?  But in our little village of Broadway, you might
            find that there's only one word to save you: Tradition!

                                   MOLINA sings, and the rest of the cast
                                   joins him.

                                   FIDDLER ON THE ROOF
            That's... that's not my Anatevka... that's an upscale
            restaurant in Central Park!  Must stay calm....

                                   The Fiddler, who stays on the roof for
                                   about a half a minute max, comes down
                                   and begins walking around the stage in
                                   Brechtian fashion.  A little boy
                                   follows him constantly, but because of
                                   the dark lighting we can't really see
                                   the child unless we are looking for it.

                                   FIDDLER ON THE ROOF
            Wait... why isn't the Fiddler on the Roof?

                                   DIRECTOR DAVID LEVEAUX
                          (laughing)
            You ain't seen nothing yet!





            SCENE: TEVYE'S HOUSE

                                   NANCY OPEL (AS YENTE)
            Golde, come, I have news for you!  But any news is good news. 
            Right?
                          (A long, drawn out pause.)
            Of course right!  But what do you think?
                          (A long drawn out pause.)
            I'll tell you what you think.  You think that--

                                   RANDY GRAFF (AS GOLDE)
            Uh... can you not do that, Nancy?

                                   NANCY OPEL (AS YENTE)
            Not do what?

                                   RANDY GRAFF (AS GOLDE)
            Not leave those pauses in between?

                                   NANCY OPEL (AS YENTE)
            What do you mean?

                                   RANDY GRAFF (AS GOLDE)
            Well, you're supposed to be Yente.

                                   NANCY OPEL (AS YENTE)
            I am Yente.  Right?
                          (Another awkward, drawn-out
                           pause.)
            Of course right!

                                   RANDY GRAFF (AS GOLDE)
            No... Nancy... see, the idea of Yente is that you're supposed
            to not let me speak.

                                   NANCY OPEL (AS YENTE)
            Why?

                                   RANDY GRAFF (AS GOLDE)
            Yente is supposed to talk a lot, and never stop.  That's why
            the character is called Yente.  Because she's a nudge.

                                   NANCY OPEL (AS YENTE)
            Well, that's not very nice, is it?

                                   RANDY GRAFF (AS GOLDE)
            See, the joke with Yente is that she's a chatterbox and--

                                   NANCY OPEL (AS YENTE)
            Nope, not very nice at all.  

                                   RANDY GRAFF (AS GOLDE)
            Sigh.

                                   NANCY OPEL (AS YENTE)
            Hey, remember the days of Urinetown, when I used to have
            comedic timing?

                                   NANCY OPEL and RANDY GRAFF leave the
                                   stage.

                                   DIRECTOR DAVID LEVEAUX
            What do you think of that, eh?

                                   FIDDLER ON THE ROOF
            So Nancy Opel was thrown in three days before the show's
            opening.  So what?  Yente's not that important a charact--

                                   Enter LAURA MICHELLE KELLY and TRICIA
                                   PAOLUCCIO.

                                   LAURA MICHELLE KELLY (HODEL)
                                   AND TRICIA PAOLUCCIO (CHAVA)
                          (Singing)
            Matchmaker, Matchmaker, 
            Make me a match,
            Find me a find...

                                   They continue to sing.  As they do,
                                   LAURA MICHELLE KELLY takes off her
                                   outer shirt and begins washing her bare
                                   shoulders and arms with a washcloth.

                                   LAURA MICHELLE KELLY (HODEL)
                                   AND TRICIA PAOLUCCIO (CHAVA)
            ...catch me a catch....

                                   TRICIA PAOLUCCIO also begins washing
                                   her bare shoulders with a washcloth.

                                   LAURA MICHELLE KELLY (HODEL)
                                   AND TRICIA PAOLUCCIO (CHAVA)
            ...matchmaker, matchmaker,
            look through your book...

                                   LAURA MICHELLE KELLY begins washing
                                   TRICIA PAOLUCCIO'S bare shoulders.

                                   FIDDLER ON THE ROOF
            Why are they washing each other?

                                   DIRECTOR DAVID LEVEAUX
            Sex appeal, baby!  Sex appeal!

                                   FIDDLER ON THE ROOF
            Aaaaagh!!





            SCENE: TEVYE AND GOLDE'S BEDROOM

                                   FIDDLER ON THE ROOF
            But the Dream Sequence is so solid, you couldn't dare ruin
            it!

                                   ALFRED MOLINA and RANDY GRAFF are
                                   sitting in bed.

                                   RANDY GRAFF (AS GOLDE)
            Tell me your dream and I'll tell you what it meant.

                                   ALFRED MOLINA (AS TEVYE)
            Well, we were at a sort of celebration...

                                   As he tells the story, a ladder rises
                                   through the a hole in the floor and the
                                   rest of the cast comes on stage, all
                                   dressed like various animals.

                                   ALFRED MOLINA (AS TEVYE)
                          (confused)
            ... um... which sort of looked like Picasso's Guernica...
            Leveaux, what are you doing?

                                   FIDDLER ON THE ROOF
            You changed that?  And not even for the better!!  Why would
            you lose the spooky graveyard setting for silly looking---

                                   ENTIRE CAST
                          (singing)
            Fruma Sarah, Fruma Sarah, Fruma Sarah, ....

                                   The ladder moves upwards, the bottom of
                                   which has FRUMA SARAH awkwardly
                                   clinging to it.  

                                   JOY HERMALUN (AS FRUMA
                                   SARAH)
            Tevye!  Tevye!
                          (singing)
            What is this about your daughter marrying my husband...

                                   She continues singing, trying her best
                                   to be "frightening".  But because she's
                                   a good thirty feet away from Tevye and
                                   Golde, she seems to pose no threat at
                                   all.

                                   FRUMAH SARAH
            Here's my wedding present, if Tzeidel marries Lazer Wolf!

                                   On that, rather than flying toward
                                   Tevye in a possibly spooky or sensible
                                   sort of way, she simply floats calmly
                                   offstage.

                                   FIDDLER ON THE ROOF
            That wasn't effective at all!  That was just absurd, and a
            horrible change from the original staging which had worked so
            much better!  How can you allow this?

                                   DIRECTOR DAVID LEVEAUX
            Now I unleash my SECRET WEAPON!

                                   Enter JERRY BOCK and SHELDON HARNICK,
                                   original composer and lyricist of
                                   Fiddler on the Roof.

                                   FIDDLER ON THE ROOF
            Bock!  Harnick!  Do you see this?  Do you see what Leveaux is
            doing to me?  Do you see how--

                                   DIRECTOR DAVID LEVEAUX
            Gentlemen, now I know you haven't written a song together in
            thirty years and barely are on speaking terms, but I was
            wondering if you would write me a new song to add to the
            beginning of the second act.

                                   FIDDLER ON THE ROOF
            Haha... did you hear that?  He wants you guys to write a new
            song for a forty-year old masterpiece like myself.  What a
            riot!  How could he ever sugges--

                                   COMPOSER JERRY BOCK AND
                                   LYRICIST SHELDON HARNICK
            Okay, we'll do it.

                                   DIRECTOR DAVID LEVEAUX
            Excellent.

                                   FIDDLER ON THE ROOF
            What the--





            SCENE: ANOTHER PART OF CENTRAL PARK.

                                   NANCY OPEL (AS YENTE)
            Everybody, terrible news!  Perchik's been arrested, and he
            and Hodel have decided to make a match for each other!  Oh,
            it's all so TOPSY TURVEY!

                                   NANCY OPEL sings "Topsy Turvey", a new
                                   song about how she's practically out of
                                   a job because couples don't need
                                   matchmakers anymore.

                                   NANCY OPEL (AS TEVYE)
                          (singing)
            The world is Topsy Turvey,
            No?  Yes!....

                                   COMPOSER JERRY BOCK
            Wow, look, I got the newly-written music to sound like it's
            not out of place with all of the older songs!

                                   LYRICIST SHELDON HARNICK
            Hey, the concept of the song was funny.  I think I just
            forgot to make the lyrics funny.  Hmm.

                                   DIRECTOR DAVID LEVEAUX
            Oh well.  Better luck next time!  Here you go, guys.

                                   Leveaux hands BOCK and HARNICK their
                                   big fat royalty checks.  They leave.

                                   FIDDLER ON THE ROOF
            Why Leveaux!  Why would you add in a new song when it's such
            filler!  Why?!?!

                                   LEVEAUX laughs like he's a villain in a
                                   Disney cartoon.  Smoke fills the stage,
                                   and suddenly, the ghost of ZERO MOSTEL
                                   (the original Tevye) appears.

                                   FIDDLER ON THE ROOF
            Zero?  Is that you?

                                   ZERO MOSTEL'S GHOST
            Fiddler... Fiddler!  Don't you give up on me yet.  

                                   FIDDLER ON THE ROOF
            But, he's taken everything.  I can't go on much longer!

                                   ZERO MOSTEL'S GHOST
            Everything?  EVERYTHING?  Remember, Fiddler!  Do you
            remember?  Do you remember when Norman Jewison made the movie
            version of you in 1971?

                                   FIDDLER ON THE ROOF
            Yes...

                                   ZERO MOSTEL'S GHOST
            And do you remember, when casting Tevye, Norman Jewison
            called upon Topol to play the part instead of me!

                                   FIDDLER ON THE ROOF
            Yes...

                                   ZERO MOSTEL'S GHOST
            And did I give up?  No!  I continued to fight, and earn
            respect as an actor!  And when Norman Jewison called me two
            years later to speak to me about my son playing King Herod in
            his Jesus Christ Superstar movie, do you know what I did?
                          (silence)
            Do you know what I did, Fiddler?

                                   FIDDLER ON THE ROOF
            ...no....

                                   ZERO MOSTEL'S GHOST
            I picked up the phone, and I said to him, "You want my son? 
            YOU WANT MY SON?  WHY DON'T YOU GO CALL TOPOL'S SON!"

                                   FIDDLER ON THE ROOF
            ...Topol's son!

                                   ZERO MOSTEL'S GHOST
            So I want you to go back out there.  And I want you to stand
            up to David Leveaux.  

                                   FIDDLER ON THE ROOF
            ...stand up to David Leveaux!

                                   ZERO MOSTEL'S GHOST
            And I want you to look at him in the face and say, to him...
            say, "Why don't you go call Topol's son!  WHY DON'T YOU GO
            CALL TOPOL'S SON!"

                                   FIDDLER ON THE ROOF
            I'll do it!  I'LL DO IT!

                                   ZERO MOSTEL's ghost fades away, as does
                                   ZERO MOSTEL'S BAD COMBOVER'S ghost.

                                   FIDDLER ON THE ROOF
            I've had enough of you Leveaux!  You can take my pride, you
            can take my dignity, but you will not ruin me!  I am too
            solid a show to destroy!  Take THIS!





            SCENE: A RAILROAD STATION, THEORETICALLY.

                                   LAURA MICHELLE KELLY is saying goodbye
                                   to ALFRED MOLINA.

                                   LAURA MICHELLE KELLY 
                                   (AS HODEL)
                          (singing)
            THERE WHERE MY HEART HAS SETTLED LONG AGO,
            I MUST GO, I MUST GO...

                                   A moment of silence.  We hear a faint
                                   cough in the audience.

                                   LAURA MICHELLE KELLY
                                   (AS HODEL)
            WHO COULD IMAGINE I'D BE WANDERING SO,
            FAR FROM THE HOME I LOVE, YET,
            THERE WITH MY LOVE, I'M HOME!

                                   Sniffling, not a dry eye in the
                                   theatre.

                                   FIDDLER ON THE ROOF
            What do you think of that?

                                   DIRECTOR DAVID LEVEAUX
            But... but... it looks more like a dilapidated boardwalk in
            Atlantic City than a train station!  No... this can't be...
            this can't be!  





            SCENE: WHO REALLY KNOWS ANYMORE, THERE'S STILL BUNCHES OF
            WOODEN PLANKS ON THE FLOOR.

                                   NON-JEWISH CHARACTERS
            You must leave Anatevka!

                                   REST OF CAST
                          (singing)
            Soon I'll be a stranger in a strange new place,
            Searching for an old familiar face,
            From Anatevka...

                                   Audience members begin holding hands
                                   tightly, feeling the pain of these
                                   exiles.

                                   DIRECTOR DAVID LEVEAUX
            No... no... they're emotionally reacting!  How can this be!

                                   FIDDLER ON THE ROOF
            You see?  You see?  When a show is solid enough, nothing you
            can do will ruin it!  

                                   Villagers begin to solemnly leave
                                   Anatevka.

                                   FIDDLER ON THE ROOF
            I win, Leveaux!  I reign supreme!  I have had the last laugh!

                                   DIRECTOR DAVID LEVEAUX
            Oh, you may laugh, but it will not be the last!

                                   Villagers finish leaving Anatevka
                                   except for the Fiddler, who is still
                                   not on the roof.  Next to him is a
                                   small child.

                                   FIDDLER ON THE ROOF
            Who... who's that little kid?

                                   DIRECTOR DAVID LEVEAUX
            Oh, he's been standing around the stage the entire show, I
            just haven't spotlit him until now!

                                   The Fiddler plays his last note, and
                                   then hands the fiddle to the child, who
                                   runs off.  This is the final image of
                                   the play, and whatever symbolism is
                                   intended with the small child is vague
                                   and cheap.

                                   FIDDLER ON THE ROOF
            But... it's not supposed to end like that!  The Fiddler is
            supposed to be coaxed off of the roof by Tevye...

                                   DIRECTOR DAVID LEVEAUX
            No, it's a little boy now!  There's a little boy instead!

                                   FIDDLER ON THE ROOF
            But that... why would you do that, Leveaux?  Why would you
            change things that were working so well for so many revivals? 
            Why couldn't you just stage it the way the first 800
            performance production did it?  Why would you change these
            things?

                                   DIRECTOR DAVID LEVEAUX
            Because we need to change shows!  For the sake of changing! 
            So the people who have seen you before will get a new
            experience! 

                                   FIDDLER ON THE ROOF
            Have you considered, though?

                                   DIRECTOR DAVID LEVEAUX
            Considered what?

                                   FIDDLER ON THE ROOF
            Considered the people who haven't seen me before?  Considered
            the twelve-year-old Jewish children who are sitting in their
            audience who, unlike their parents, are seeing this for the
            first time?  That your lesser but newer version is the first
            viewing of Fiddler they'll ever have?  Have you considered
            that?

                                   DIRECTOR DAVID LEVEAUX
            ...no, that... never occurred to me...

                                   ALFRED MOLINA'S contract runs out, and
                                   he decides not to renew.  

                                   DIRECTOR DAVID LEVEAUX
            Oh crap...

                                   The MINKSOFF CURSE strikes again, and 
                                   FIDDLER closes at a loss.  

                                   The Minskoff Theatre is emptied and
                                   just in time to make room for the
                                   Minskoff's next lucky tennant: a
                                   revival of Stephen Sondheim's "Sunday
                                   in the Park with George" starring Skid
                                   Row's SEBASTIAN BACH and Rent's DAPHNE
                                   RUBIN VEGA.

                                   How will this revival fare in the land
                                   of the fabled "MINSKOFF CURSE"?  Only
                                   time will tell...

                                   BLACKOUT.

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