Actor Michael C. Bernardi made history on Broadway last week (ends26Aug16) by making his debut in the Fiddler On the Roof role his father played five decades ago.
Bernardi portrays Mordcha the Innkeeper in the current Broadway revival of Fiddler On the Roof, but last Wednesday (24Aug16) he took over the lead as Tevye, reprising the role his late father, Herschel Bernardi, made famous nearly 50 years ago.
Michael was only two when his father passed away, but admits the show has always made him feel close to his dead dad.
"When I was born, the story goes that I had a very life-threatening birth, that my mother and I almost died," he tells BroadwayWorld. "My mother of course was terrified and my father was right by her side. And she asked, or more likely desperately demanded, that my father sing Fiddler to her. And so he just sang the entire score of the show, whispered it into her ear, and I was born... I learned about Fiddler at a very early age. I learned about it as soon as I could understand the English language, really. So from a very early age, I knew the importance of Fiddler."
And Michael wore his father's boots for his debut as Tevye, adding, "Well when I was playing Tevye in the summer stock production out in Massachusetts I wore his shirt, the vest, a jacket, a hat, and my father's boots. And for the Broadway production, I am wearing his boots only, but they are my favourite part of the costume."