Neil Diamond and Barbra Streisand Star as Tevye & Golde!.
If I directed the Fiddler remake, this is what it would look like…
You may ask – how am I going to pull this big remake off? That I can tell you in one word – IMAGINATION! Okay, so it’s all happening in my head. I’ve been obsessed with Fiddler on the Roof since I was a child and now I’m finally the producer and the director – which means I maintain all creative control. And with casting these two celebrity big-shots in the leads, what could possibly go wrong? I’ll tell you…I don’t know.
Let’s listen in on how rehearsals are going. We’ll start with that touching scene when Tevye asks Golde how she feels about him.
Tevye/Neil – Golde, do you love me?
Golde/Barbra – Do I what?
Tevye/Neil – I’m asking you … Do you love me?
Golde/Barbra – Do I love you? For twenty-five years I’ve washed your clothes, cooked your meals, cleaned your house. Given you children, milked your cows…And you don’t bring me flowers anymore.
Tevye/Neil –Me and you are subject to the blues now and then. But do you love me?
Golde/Barbra – I’m your wife.
Tevye/Neil – I know. And you are the sun, I am the moon, you are the words, I am the tune. Play me.
Director/Me – Cut, Cut! Okay people. That’s very cute. But can we just stick to the script, please? We’ll pick this scene up later. Let’s switch to Tevye in the barn. Places everyone. And… Action!
Tevye/Neil – If I were a rich man, daidle deedle daidle deedle dum. All day long I’d biddy-biddy-bum, if I were a wealthy man. Money talks, but it don’t sing and dance and it don’t walk. As long as I have you here with me, I’d much rather be Forever in Blue Jeans.
Director/Me – Blue Jeans??? Okay, okay, I guess Levi Strauss was Jewish and we can work that into the show somehow, but please Neil baby…gimme a break and just sing your lines exactly as they’re written. Let’s get Ms. Streisand back and run through the end of Act 1 – the chuppah scene at Tzeitel’s wedding. Lights, camera . . .
Golde/Barbra – Is this the little girl I carried? Is this the little boy at play?
Tevye/Neil – Where it began? I can’t begin to knowing. But then I know it’s growing strong. I don’t remember growing older. When did they?
Golde/Barbra – Memories, may be beautiful and yet. What’s too painful to remember, we simply choose to forget.
Director/Me – (mopping brow) Focus, people, focus! From the top…Roll ‘em!
Golde/Barbra – When did she get to be a beauty? (Hello Gorgeous!) When did he grow to be so tall?
Tevye/Neil – Wasn’t it yesterday when they were small? Or was it the spring, then spring became the summer …. Sunrise, Sunset, swiftly flow the years. Good times never seemed so good!
Director/Me (popping Tylenol) – Okay, moving on to the Sabbath Prayer song.
Tevye/Neil – May the Lord protect and defend you. May he always shield you from pain.
Golde/Barbra (looking toward the heavens) – Who told you you’re allowed to rain on my parade??
Director/Me – Alright, enough with the flashback songs already. Maybe Fiddler doesn’t have to be a musical. Let’s try some speaking dialogue at the train station when Tevye’s middle daughter explains why she must go ‘Far From the Home She Loves.’ This is a very poignant moment people – let’s see if we can get it done in one take.
Hodel – He did nothing wrong, Papa. He is in a settlement in Siberia. He did not ask me to go. I want to go. I want to help him in his work.
Director/Me – Beautiful! Now Neil your next line is the crucial turning point of Act 1. Let’s hear it.
Tevye/Neil – Oh I love my Rosie child, you’ve got the way to make me happy! Cracklin’ Rose, you’re a store bought woman . . .
Hodel – (confused) But Papa, that’s not my name.
Tevye/Neil – (never missing a beat) Of course you have a name. All G-d’s creatures on earth have a name. A bird could love a fish, but where would they build a home?
Director/Me – I don’t believe this.
Neil – Did you like my save? When she got mixed up? That’s called improvisation.
Director/Me – That’s called mashuganah. Okay Neil – you need a break. Take five!
Neil – Sweet! Sweet …
Director/Me – If you call me Caroline right now, you’re fired.
Neil – I’ve been thinking of the title. You’ve heard of ‘A Diamond in the Rough?’ right? Let’s call this remake “A Diamond on the Roof!”
Barbra – I have a better title. “Hello Golde, Well Hello Golde! It’s So Nice To Have You Back Where You Belong.”
Director/Me – Right. Let’s switch gears entirely right now and bring out our matchmaker, Yente. Quiet on the set! Only Yente, please.
Barbra (eyes light up with enthusiastic recognition) – Papa can you hear me? Papa are you near me?
Director/Me – No, No! I said Yente, not Yentl. Alright everyone – that’s a wrap!
Matisyahu – Did I hear Rap? You want to do Fiddler as a Rap Musical? All my life I’ve been waiting for, I’ve been praying for, for the people to say, Motel the Tailor is the perfect role for me to play. One day. One day. One day.
Director/Me – Oy vey! Okay, folks – I want you all to get out of my imagination right now. Every single one of you. Don’t call us, we’ll call you. And get Topol or Zero Mostel on the phone, please. The original cast. I really need those people.
Barbra – People. People who need people...are the luckiest people in the world.