Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Fiddler on the Roof Creators Die Within Ten Days of Each Other


Jerry Bock died today. He was the gifted composer, with Sheldon Harnick, of the score of “Fiddler on the Roof.” He was 81, and had had a stroke a few days ago. Here’s a link to the story from Playbill.

Bock died just ten days after the passing of 98 year old Joseph Stein, who wrote the book for “Fiddler” from the stories of Sholom Aleichem. Now only Harnick, who’s 86, survives from this incredibly talented trio.

“Fiddler” remains a high water mark in Broadway musical history. At one point in the early 70s it was the longest running musical on Broadway. With its poignant and nostalgic story of Jews leaving Russia, and a score–what a score!–that includes so many well known songs–the title song, “If I Were a Rich Man,” “Sunrise Sunset,” “Far from the Home I Love,” “Tradition”–there is nothing else like it.

Mazel tov, and Shalom. Considering what’s coming up this week musical wise on Broadway, these men will be sorely, sorely missed.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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