Fiddler on the Prairie
October 11, 2007 11:18 AM   Subscribe

Fiddler on the prairie. The story of a 1970s high school production of Fiddler on the Roof. The school was in Billings, Montana.
posted by joseph_elmhurst (10 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
My family tells a story about the local (Amarillo, TX) high school's production of Fiddler and my grandfather's reaction to it. When asked what he thought of the play he replied, "Well, it was pretty good. But I tell you one thing - in the shtetl we weren't singing and dancing!
posted by joseph_elmhurst at 11:18 AM on October 11, 2007 [1 favorite]

Dr. Small sounds like a real mensch.
posted by jquinby at 11:22 AM on October 11, 2007

That was a nice story.
posted by ND¢ at 11:37 AM on October 11, 2007

I'm glad I read that. The small, good things do really count.
posted by Abiezer at 12:13 PM on October 11, 2007

When my high school did Fiddler, David Faber attended closing night. At the end of the performance, he came on stage, in tears, and thanked each of us personally.
posted by shakespeherian at 12:17 PM on October 11, 2007

Directed an amateur FIDDLER a few years ago. I didn't tell the cast I'd read the source book, and what happened to their characters in that (one ends up floating face down in a pond...) I did point out that getting driven out of Anatevka was the best thing that ever happened to their characters - at least the ones who headed for the United States, and so wouldn't be around in 1942. Anyway, it's a great show.
posted by alasdair at 12:38 PM on October 11, 2007 [1 favorite]

The closest I’ve come to Fiddler on the Roof was buying a fiddle-leaf fig and naming it Tevye, but this was a cute story.
posted by tepidmonkey at 2:01 PM on October 11, 2007

I loved this article. I was the token Jew where I grew up, and the article brought back a lot of fond memories. My favorite was the girl at Girl Scout Camp who innocently asked to see my tail. I didn't know we Jews were supposed to have tails.

Hilarity ensued in a way that i don't think would be possible these days with everyone getting their panties in a wad every time someone says something politically incorrect.
posted by astruc at 2:44 PM on October 11, 2007 [1 favorite]

I was the closest thing to a Jew in my High School's production of Fiddler. As in I was deemed... or shall we say christened, an "offical Jew" by 7th grade. I dunno why I like Jewish stuff, I just do, but it may be because of the oft-cited binary Jewish/Wasp humor schools in the US.

Anyway, Temple Beth Torah allowed the cast and crew to come for a sabbath dinner, wherein I had the peculiar experience of being mildy embarassed by the naiveté and faux pas of the majority of those in attendance. Like being on a bus tour of Iran with Phi Omega Nu. Hard CH challah and such.

I was Yente, for the record, only because I can hold a comic Russian accent convincingly. I was robbed, though. Our Golda couldn't sing, and I carried Sabbath Prayer. Enough to make you cry, my Sabbath Prayer.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 2:47 PM on October 11, 2007 [1 favorite]

Not In Our Town
In 1993, hate activities in Billings reached a crescendo. KKK fliers were distributed, the Jewish cemetery was desecrated, the home of a Native American family was painted with swastikas, and a brick was thrown through the window of a six-year-old boy who displayed a Menorah for Hanukkah.

Rather than resigning itself to the growing climate of hate, the community took a stand. The police chief urged citizens to respond before the violence escalated any further. Religious groups from every denomination sponsored marches and candlelight vigils. The local labor council passed a resolution against racism, anti-Semitism and homophobia. Members of the local Painters Union pitched in to paint over racist graffiti. The local newspaper printed full-page Menorahs that were subsequently displayed in nearly 10,000 homes and businesses. The community made an unmistakable declaration: "Not in Our Town." Since then, no serious acts of hate violence have been reported in Billings.

posted by dhartung at 4:24 PM on October 11, 2007 [2 favorites]

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