The Fiddler on the Roof, America's most acclaimed muscical, is a story about a family in the small town of Anatevka in the Ukraine, in 1905 (on the eve of the Russian revolution.) The main character is the optimistic Tevye (Topol) who is the father of the family (wife, 5 daughters.) For as long as he can remember, life has always been governed by certain traditions that will never be changed. Or so he thinks.
One by one, his daughters (the three eldest: Tzeitel, Hodel, and Chava) break away from tradition (i.e. breaking an agreement for a traditional arranged marriage, marrying with out his permission, and even marrying outside the faith), each time letting it pass until...well, now that would be giving out part of the story, wouldn't it! Amongst this is his wife, Golde, who keeps Tevye down to earth.
Tevye faces these problems and still comes out with a smile. Tradition may be falling apart for him, but his little town Anatefka will hold together just fine. But, as one educated in history would know, the time period in which this happens is the time of the pogroms in Russia. And just a little breeze could blow a fiddler from his roof.
The Fiddler on the Roof is a heart warming, tear breaking and awe inspiring story of tradition, family, love, sorrow and loss. But, lucky for us, it has a happy ending, in a twisted sort of way.