Fiddler on the Roof "logo"

You know the classic image on all the Playbills and such for Fiddler on the Roof? What is that red swoosh supposed to be?

I assume you mean the red swoosh here? It’s by no means universal in Fiddler on the Roof posters, actually.

I think it’s just a splotch of color, perhaps intended to mean life, energy, excitement.

I suppose it could mean blood, as in the danger of the Kossacks on the horizon – notice the spots of red on the dancing girl’s dress – but that’s pushing it.

Actually I’m more curious about that green blobby thing at the top of the red swoosh. What the heck is that? Is it a mouse? A cow?

Yes, Choie, you got it! That’s the classic image with the red swoosh! I always thought the green blob looked like the profile of a chicken or rooster. Also, are you saying the red swoosh is found elsewhere? Where else have you seen it, or something like it? On Broadway, right? :slight_smile:

The logo is supposed to be referencing the work of painter Marc Chagall, who did several works that included a fiddler, often on a roof, or near a house, with chickens and stuff. There’s one in particular that has a curving road going around a house, so I always assumed the red swoosh was intended to be that same general idea without being an exact copy of any particular Chagall piece.

I’ve also seen it on a variation, for example, seen on the Fort Wayne Civic Theater website, which they’re using to advertise auditions. And here’s the same variation on a high school site. Now that I look at it more closely, I do think the green thing is a hen. Sure has a bizarre head though!

I am, by no means, an expert, but in choie’s last two examples the “swoosh” sure looks more like the sickle from the Soviet flag to me. Or am I WAY off base?

You’re definitely not off-base in the similar swoosh shapes, and it’s even in the same direction as the iconic hammer/sickle combo of the Soviet flag.

But is it related? I don’t think so. Communism itself plays a pretty small role in the show, which takes place in the early 1900s. The only implied Communist in the show is daughter Hodel’s beloved, the revolutionary Perchik – who ends up in Siberia.

So I think that’s just a (rather unfortunate) coincidence. I can’t imagine that the producers would’ve intended that symbolism – or wanted a whiff of Communism anywhere near the production – especially in a show starring former blacklistee Zero Mostel.

Sometimes a swoosh is only a swoosh. :slight_smile:

So, you’re saying the poster was swooshed?

Some versions of the Fiddler on the Roof image have a crescent moon behind the fiddler. Could that be related?


…and here’s a version with the red swoosh more clearly crescent-shaped:

Looks like a dirt road to me.