The Tabernacle Choir Blog

Photo by Johannes Plenio on Unsplash

On This Day in 1972 Fiddler on the Roof Became the Longest-Running Broadway Show

Fiddler on the Roof is a 1964 American musical about Jewish life in a small village in imperial Russia at the turn of the 20th century. The music was written by Jerry Bock, lyrics by Sheldon Harnick, and the book by Joseph Stein. The story’s focus is on Tevye, who does everything in his power to maintain Jewish culture for his five daughters, as traditions seem to be crumbling around him.

On June 17, 1972, Fiddler on the Roof staged its record-breaking 3,225th performance. Shortly after breaking the record, the show ended its run on July 2, 1972, with 3,242 performances, which remained unbroken until 1980 when the musical Grease surpassed it with 3,388 performances. 

One of Fiddler on the Roof’s many shining moments is when “Sunrise, Sunset” is performed at the wedding of Tevye’s oldest daughter. He and his wife Golde sing about how they can’t believe how fast time has flown by, and how their daughter and son-in-law are now all grown up. The song has been described as “hypnotic,” “infectious,” and “poignant.” The Des Moines Register said the musical "melts into bittersweetness" when the song is sung.

“Sunrise, Sunset” has been a part of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir repertoire since 1974, when it was performed during a broadcast under the direction of Richard P. Condie. The song was included on the Choir’s now out-of-print 1990 album Curtain Up!, as well as  the 2007 album Showtime! Music of Broadway and Hollywood. Purchase the album »

Watch the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square perform “Sunrise, Sunset” from Fiddler on the Roof.