Review: Fiddler on the Roof—Topol Farewell Tour/Broadway in Chicago | Newcity Stage
RECOMMENDED When Israeli actor Chaim Topol first played Tevye in "Fiddler on the Roof" in Tel Aviv back in the 1960s, he was a young man in his twenties, still on active duty for the Israeli Army. Yet as the son of Polish-Russian Jewish parents who, like the fictional milkman Tevye and his family, had been forced out of Eastern Europe, Topol transformed the role from the purely comic interpretation originated by Zero Mostel on Broadway to something more poignant and truer to the musical's original source material, the Yiddish short stories of Sholem Aleichem. Despite his relative youth, Topol's portrayal was so authentic and invigorating that he was chosen to open in the role on London's West End, which led to director Norman Jewison choosing him to star in the 1971 film version, despite enormous studio pressure for Jewison to go with an older and more established bona fide movie star. Some twenty years later when Topol had reached his early fifties, at long last the actual age of