Harvey Fierstein in Fiddler On The Roof

                               FIERSTEIN ON THE ROOF:
               A Harvey Fierstein in Fiddler "Broadway Abridged" Script
                                                            By Gil Varod





            SCENE: THE MINKSOFF THEATRE, WHICH FOR SOME REASON DOESN'T
            BELIEVE THAT HAVING AISLES IN THE MEZZANINE IS A WORTHWHILE
            CONCEPT.

                                   Enter Harvey Fierstein in a Hairspray
                                   dress and a Tevye beard.

                                   HARVEY FIERSTEIN
            There.  The cliché joke was made.  Are you happy?

                                   Harvey Fierstein walks off, annoyed and
                                   rambling about who knows what.





            SCENE: ANATEVKA

                                   THE ENTIRE CAST
                          (singing)
            Tradition!  Tradition!

                                   HARVEY FIERSTEIN
                          (raspily)
            Tradition!
            Why without our tradition, we'd be as shaky as... as...

                                   HARVEY FIERSTEIN'S VOICE
            As me!  For the first three scenes until you've gotten used
            to me, it will be JARRING how raspy I am!





            SCENE: A VERY BEAUTIFUL ENVIRONMENT INHABITED BY POOR PEOPLE

                                   Enter Nancy Opel.

                                   NANCY OPEL 
                                   [AS YENTE THE MATCHMAKER]
            Andrea Martin, come quick, Lazar Wolf wants to marry your
            daughter!

                                   ANDREA MARTIN [AS GOLDE]
            Which one?

                                   NANCY OPEL 
                                   [AS YENTE THE MATCHMAKER]
            The oldest one.

                                   ANDREA MARTIN [AS GOLDE]
            The oldest one?  You mean Tzeitel, right?  

                                   NANCY OPEL 
                                   [AS YENTE THE MATCHMAKER]
                          (entirely unfunnily)
            Right of course right.

                                   ANDREA MARTIN [AS GOLDE]
            Okay, I want to make sure we're entirely clear on this. 
            Because at the moment, my oldest daughter is being played by
            somebody much shorter than my second oldest daughter, which
            makes it confusing as to who is older than who.  So you want
            the FIRST-OLDEST, i.e. the SECOND-TALLEST, right?

                                   NANCY OPEL 
                                   [AS YENTE THE MATCHMAKER]
                          (playing the character with
                           absolutely no humor at all)
            Right of course right.

                                   ANDREA MARTIN [AS GOLDE]
            ...Jesus, you were in this show for over a year and you still
            haven't figured out how the hell to get laughs?

                                   They exit.  

                                   Enter THREE OLDEST DAUGHTERS.

                                   TWO DAUGHTERS
            We want to get married really bad!

                                   They wash each others breasts and begin
                                   to mimic an Herbal Essences commercial.

                                   OLDEST DAUGHTER
            Are you sure you want to get married?  Imagine what Yente
            will bring!
                          (dresses up like Yente the
                           Matchmaker)
            Lookame!  Can you guess who I'm doing an impression of?

                                   TWO DAUGHTERS
            Nope.  No clue.

                                   AUDIENCE
            Me neither.

                                   OLDEST DAUGHTER
            It's an impression of Yente!  Isn't it funny?

                                   TWO DAUGHTERS
            It's hard to tell that you're making fun of Yente when she
            doesn't play a character that is imitate-able.

                                   NANCY OPEL 
                                   [AS YENTE THE MATCHMAKER]
            Rightofcourserightrightofcourserightrightofcourseri--

                                   ORIGINAL YENTE BEA ARTHUR
                          (smacks Nancy Opel upside the
                           head)
            God dammit, it's not that hard a fricking role!





            SCENE: AUTUMN (ANATEVKA APPARENTLY IS ALWAYS AUTUMN)

                                   Enter Harvey Fierstein.

                                   HARVEY FIERSTEIN
            Dear God, you made many many raspy people.  I realize of
            course, that Zero Mostel wasn't the greatest singer...
                          (pause)
            But that doesn't make anybody want to do a re-release of the
            cast album with *my voice* laid over it like they did with
            Brooke Shields.  So what would it mean if my voice... if...
                          (sings)
            IF MY VOICE WERE RICHER,
            A BIDDY BIDDY BIDDY BUM...

                                   He continues to sing, making the "biddy
                                   biddy bums" *not* seem awkward, and
                                   seeming entirely convincing as he
                                   builds natural transitions from one
                                   verse to the next.  

                                   Audience is won over.

                                   PREVIOUS TEVYE ALFRED MOLINA
            Transitions... making the "biddy biddy bums" not seem so
            awkward... why couldn't I have thought of that?

                                   DIRECTOR DAVID LEVEAUX
            Because I didn't direct it in.

                                   PREVIOUS TEVYE ALFRED MOLINA
            Ah... That's right.

                                   HARVEY FIERSTEIN
            Wait a minute... You didn't direct any transitions with *me*
            and I still put them in.

                                   DIRECTOR DAVID LEVEAUX
            What do you know?  You're just an actor!

                                   HARVEY FIERSTEIN
            A Tony Award-winning actor.

                                   DIRECTOR DAVID LEVEAUX
            So what?  That doesn't mean you know anything about scene
            structure!

                                   HARVEY FIERSTEIN
            And a Tony winning playwright.

                                   DIRECTOR DAVID LEVEAUX
            Yeah, but that... Oh.
                          (shuts up)





            SCENE: SHABBAT DINNER

                                   Enter five daughters and JOHN CARIANI
                                   [as Motel].

                                   HARVEY FIERSTEIN
            Perchik, come meet my family.  
                          (Points to daughters)
            This is mine, this is mine, this is mine, this is mine, and
            this is mine.  And *this*...
                          (Points to Motel, aside to
                           audience)
            Now watch this, to make this line even *funnier*, I'm going
            to do the Harvey Fierstein signature "make my voice suddenly
            drop down three octaves" thing that I'm known for.
                          (boomingly:)
            THIS IS NOT MINE!

                                   ANDREA MARTIN [AS GOLDE]
            Was that really necessary?  You already have the audience in
            the palm of your hand after "Rich Man"; you don't have to
            work so hard.

                                   HARVEY FIERSTEIN
            At least I'm making my part more interesting!  It's not like
            *you're* playing Golde particularly memorably!

                                   ANDREA MARTIN [AS GOLDE]
            But is that because I'm not playing it memorably, or is it
            because I'd have to compete with you?

                                   HARVEY FIERSTEIN AND 
                                   ANDREA MARTIN
            Hmm.





            SCENE: OUTDOORS

                                   JOHN CARIANI [AS MOTEL]
            Tevye, I want to marry your daughter!

                                   HARVEY FIERSTEIN
            No.  You're a poor tailor.

                                   JOHN CARIANI [AS MOTEL]
            But even a poor tailor is entitled to some happiness!

                                   In shock that he spoke his mind, he
                                   jerks his body around for ten seconds,
                                   looking back and forth between Tevye
                                   and Tzeitel as if freaking out.

                                   Audience laughs at this unique
                                   performance.

                                   JOHN CARIANI [AS MOTEL]
            Wow, they're laughing when I act like I'm a Jew on Heroin.  I
            should keep doing it!

                                   He continues this for about three
                                   minutes longer than he used to at the
                                   beginning of the run.

                                   JOHN CARIANI [AS MOTEL]
                          (singing)
            WONDER OF WONDER, MIRACLES OF MIRACLES!

                                   He now gratingly jump around all
                                   throughout the song.  Audience gets
                                   seasick.

                                   HARVEY FIERSTEIN
            Somebody's gotta get that boy to calm down after his second
            scene.

                                   ANDREA MARTIN [AS GOLDE]
            Somebody's gotta direct you to keep your wrist motions
            looking a tad less gay.  Because you've toned down everything
            else gay; all you'd need to fix your wrists is some good
            direction.

                                   DIRECTOR DAVID LEVEAUX
            Hmm... yeah I guess you would.





            SCENE: INTERMISSION

                                   AUDIENCE
            Boy, Act One was funny, and Harvey Fierstein does a great job
            at being the center of attention.  I am enjoying this!

                                   NEW YORK TIMES THEATRE
                                   CRITIC BEN BRANTLEY
            But Tevye must to some degree be an everyman!  And Harvey
            Fierstein shakes off any semblance of ordinariness as soon as
            he opens his mouth.  Fiddler has gone from having too little
            of a personality at its center to having too much of one.

                                   ORIGINAL TEVYE 
                                   ZERO MOSTEL
                          (rising from grave)
            He has "too much" of a personality?  Have you *heard* of me? 
            I not only played the part larger-than life, but I had the
            entire show centered around me!  AND,
                          (puts finger up in air to
                           stress point)
            I won a Tony for it!  AND that production ran for eight
            years!  WHO THE HELL ARE YOU?

                                   NEW YORK TIMES THEATRE
                                   CRITIC BEN BRANTLEY
            Please... Don't hurt me... I'm just a poor lonely man...
                          (huddles into corner)





            SCENE: ACT TWO

                                   CHAVAH
            I am marrying a non-Jew.

                                   Every other song that Harvey Fierstein
                                   has sung has actually been within his
                                   voice range *and* in the correct notes. 
                                   For some absurd reason, he now sings
                                   this next song gratingly off-key.

                                   HARVEY FIERSTEIN
                          (singing)
            CHAVELEH, CHAVELEH

                                   AUDIENCE'S EARS
                          (bleeding)
            AAAAAGH!

                                   The SADNESS continues to PILE UP:

                                   CHAVAH
            And so goodbye forever.

                                   HODEL
            I am leaving to see my fiancee in Sibera.

                                   CONSTABLE
            You Jews must leave Anatevka.

                                   LAZAR WOLF
            I died of a heart attack.

                                   THE FIDDLER
            I'm dressed a bit too much like Carlos Santana.

                                   Audience weeps.

                                   DIRECTOR DAVID LEVEAUX
            Wait a minute.  They're responding more in the sad scenes
            than they did when Molina was in it.  Nothing has changed at
            all about the sad scenes!  Why are they crying more?

                                   HARVEY FIERSTEIN
            See if you make the first half *funnier*, then there's a
            contrast between acts one and two.  This makes the solemn
            scenes *more* solemn because the downward spiral of their
            lives is greater.

                                   DIRECTOR DAVID LEVEAUX
            But that's not the British way!  Bah!

                                   HARVEY FIERSTEIN
            Oh screw you.  Now I'm directing this show.

                                   David Leveaux is deported back to
                                   Britain.

                                   And hell, can we ship Brantley there
                                   too?

                                        BLACKOUT.

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