The National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene’s revival down at the Museum of Jewish Heritage is headed uptown to off-Broadway’s Stage 42, formerly the Little Shubert Theatre, where it will begin performances in January.
The production, performed in Yiddish, is an unlikely smash. Much of the credit goes to Joel Grey, the Broadway legend who’s become a top-tier director. (The 2011 revival of “The Normal Heart” he directed with George C. Wolfe found rich humanity amid Larry Kramer’s polemics.)
When Grey told me he’d be directing “Fiddler” in Yiddish, I thought, “Well, you gotta have a gimik.” But his sensitive production has audiences and critics sobbing. One critic burst into tears during the opening number (non-hysterics usually hold out until “Sunrise, Sunset”). The production, which extended four times, will end its sold-out run at the museum on Dec. 30.