Backstage on Broadway: Long Island native, Adam Kantor, shares deep connection to ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ role

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

He's rich in talent and he's leading the way as Fiddler on the Roof comes back to Broadway for the sixth time.

“This is really exciting, it was the first show I ever did in 6th grade, I was Mendel the Rabbi’s son," Adam Kantor remembered.

For Long Island native, Adam Kantor, this show is about family and tradition, which hits home in so many ways.

"Now here I am, just a few years later haha playing Motel," he smiled. “It’s incredible not only because of the full circle nature of that experience but also because this is truly my family’s history."

And of course, the theme of love. Motel, almost loses the love of his life after the May hmaker tries to set her up with a wealthier man.
“He’s inspired by his love of Tzeitel to push to get what he wants," Kantor explained.

As for Kantor, this show on stage reflects his offstage life. His dressing room is filled with mementos.

“These are my grandfather’s prayer bags which were passed down from his father,” he showed us. “I have my great grandfather's transcribed cantorial music, and I grew up with my great grandma, who lived to be 102, she died shortly after my first performance of Fiddler, not because of my performance," he laughed.

And he has fillee some big shoes, it was 1964 that award-winning actor Austin Pendleton originated the role.

"We went to dinner and he told me great stories about Jerome Robbins and Zero Mostel and sort of what it was like to create this role and he’s still in touch, he was my guest at opening night," Kantor said.

The heart of the story rings true for so many people of a new generation fighting for their traditions and a place in the world.

“I think it’s really relevant today, with the refugees, people being displaced all over the world," he explained. "In fact our costumes at the end of the show are very much modeled after images you’re seeing in the news today."

Fiddler on the Roof is currently playing at the Broadway Theater.