Sponsored by Melanie and Larry Nussdorf

Artist Talk: Zalmen Mlotek discusses Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish

Monday, May 1311:30 PM Arena Stage

Direct from Stage 42 on 42nd Street in New York City, Zalmen Mlotek, Artistic Director of National Yiddish Theatre, and Music Director of Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish, joins actors Jennifer Babiak (Golde) and Bruce Sabath (Leyzer-Volf) to discuss the creation of the new Yiddish-language production, which is directed by Joel Grey.

Seasoned PBS, NPR and WNYC journalist and author Celeste Headlee will moderate a conversation about the origins and backstory of the hit off-Broadway musical, and the artists will also perform a couple of musical selections from the production.

This promises to be a special, intimate artistic evening that will have you running to book tickets for the full NYC show.

Co-presented by Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington


Zalmen Mlotek is the Music Director and Conductor for the current production of Fiddler On The Roof in Yiddish playing at Off Broadway’s Stage 42 directed by Joel Grey.

He  is currently the Artistic Director, Musical Director Conductor of The National Yiddish Theater-Folksbiene (NYTF), America’s oldest Yiddish theater where their production of Fiddler  began in June 2018 slated to run 8 weeks which turned into a 6 month sold out run before it transferred Off Broadway in February 2019

NYTF is dedicated to bringing quality performances of the spoken and sung Yiddish word, with accessible translation, all year to new audiences around the country.  His vision has propelled classics including NYTF productions of the world premiere of Isaac Bashevis Singer’s Yentl (1998) in Yiddish, Di Yam Gazlonim (2006) (The Yiddish Pirates of Penzance) and the 1923 Rumshinky operetta, The Golden Bride(2016), which was nominated for a Drama Desk Award and listed as a New York Times Critics Pick. Other notable productions include On Second Avenue, an historical musical overview of the heyday of the Yiddish Theater, nominated for two Drama Desk awards and performed in Los Angeles in February 2007, Amerike, The Golden Land, nominated for a Drama Desk Award

Mr Mlotek brought Yiddish- Klezmer music to Broadway and off-Broadway stages as a co-creator, music director, and conductor of Those Were the Days, the first bilingual music honored with a Drama Desk Award and nominated for two Tony Awards. He was co-creator, music director and conductor for the The Golden Land, an off-Broadway hit that toured nationally and was produced in Italy under the sponsorship of Leonard Bernstein.

In 1995, Mr. Mlotek conceived and was musical director for the first All Star Klezmer Extravaganza at Lincoln Center, filmed by PBS for Great Performances and later released on CD and video as In the Fiddler’s House with Itzhak Perlman.  Mlotek’s Yiddish choral work can be heard on Mandy Patinkin’s Yiddish language CD Mameloshen on Nonesuch Records and his piano artistry can be heard in over two dozen recordings and films.

Bruce Sabath is a New York-based actor, working in theatre, film, TV and commercials – he plays Leyzer-Volf in Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish. Recent NYC credits include: Larry in Company (Tony Award, Best Revival), Cagney (NYC/LA), Follies, Hello Again, The Gig, Platinum, Jerusalem Syndrome. Regional theater credits include: Fiddler on the Roof (Tevye, BWW Award, Stages-St.Louis), Frost/Nixon (Nixon). TV credits include: “Blacklist,” “Elementary,” and “Limitless.”

Sabath is a graduate of Harvard, Wharton and The Esper Studio.

Jennifer Babiak performs as Golde in Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish. Prior broadway and touring credits include Fiddler on the Roof, West Side Story (Maria), Grease (Sandy), Evita (Mistress).

Regional theater credits include:My Fair Lady (Eliza), Jekyll and Hyde (Emma), Lincoln in Love (Mary Todd).

Babiak is a graduate of NYU Steinhardt.

Celeste Headlee is an award-winning journalist, professional speaker and author of Heard Mentality and We Need To Talk: How To Have Conversations That Matter. In her 20-year career in public radio, she has been the Executive Producer of On Second Thought at Georgia Public Radio and anchored programs including Tell Me More, Talk of the Nation, All Things Considered, and Weekend Edition. She also served as co-host of the national morning news show, The Takeaway, from PRI and WNYC, and anchored presidential coverage in 2012 for PBS World Channel. Celeste’s TEDx Talk sharing 10 ways to have a better conversation has over 19 million total views to date.


Pricing Tier

Tier A

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This event finished on May 14, 2019.

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