Fiddling with Fiddler on the Roof


Last night, I took my wife to watch a live performance of Fiddler on the Roof at Robert Redford’s Sundance Resort as a birthday present.

While settling in for the performance, I was reading through the program and I was shocked to see that every other page of the program has what appears to be an Islamic crescent printed in the upper left corner…it seemed a bit of an incongruity for this symbol to be used in the program of a play about a Jewish man and his family.

The very presence of this symbol was quite disturbing to me especially given the current situation in the Middle East.

Today, I framed a letter to them to have them explain why it was there. The following went out via regular mail today (I couldn’t find email addresses):

August 9, 2014

Mari Turner
Executive Assistant and Programs Manager
Sundance Resort
8841 N. Alpine Loop Road
Sundance, Utah 84604

Ms. Turner,

I would like to take this opportunity to express my appreciation for the evening that my wife and I shared on August 8th. We had the pleasure of viewing an excellent production of Fiddler on the Roof starring many extremely talented actors and actresses. The partnership between Sundance and Utah Valley College is for all appearances, a very beneficial one for both entities.

As much as we enjoyed the production, I was bothered by the inclusion of something that seemed totally incongruent with the subject matter of the play, that being the story of a religious Jewish family captured between tradition and modernity in a time of rapid political change.

The bothersome item may well seem to be inconsequential but to me, as a staunch supporter of Israel and due to the fact that this year marks the 50th year since the play was first performed, it was significant.

The item of which I speak is the inclusion of what appears to be the symbol of Islam, the crescent and star, on the top left corner of each even numbered page, beginning with page two (copy enclosed). There is no explanation for it given in the program text, the symbol has no apparent ties to either Utah Valley College or Sundance and as far as my research goes, the star and crescent has no tie to the so-called “Pale of Settlement” that was created in Imperial Russia as a living area for the Russian Jews.

I would be very interested in understanding why the co-producers of this event, Sundance and UVU deemed it necessary to include what I interpret as the symbol of the enemies of Israel in printed matter of a theatrical event based on the writings of Sholem Aleichem.

I would also like your permission to publish your reply as there are several other people who are asking the same question. I look forward to your response.

Best Regards,

Michael Smith

Park City, Utah 84060

: enclosure

When and if they respond, I’ll post the reply.


5 thoughts on “Fiddling with Fiddler on the Roof

  1. Oy, veh! If they’ve used it in programs since ’69, she will claim Tradition. Trust me when I tell you that Mari will be more concerned about you wearing sneakers and biting your nails before a performance. L’chaim!

    • I’ll have to cop to the nails but the shoes belong to the lady next to us. It was an outdoor thing anyway…

      If I were a rich man…I could afford a manicure…Yubby dibby dibby dibby dibby dibby dibby dum.

  2. Pingback: Sundance Responds | The Rio Norte Line

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