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Thaaaat’s It!

Tony Award-winning director Jerry Zaks remembers one of his first acting roles, on tour with Zero Mostel in Fiddler on the Roof. “I had one critical line, ‘Even a poor tailor is entitled to some happiness.’ I was supposed to shout it at Zero, right in his face, and I was sure I was giving my all. But every night, just before the line, he’d whisper, ‘Give it to me. Come on, give it to me.’

“Finally I got so angry I just lost it. I stood up on my toes. I went white; I screamed; I was actually spitting in that face I detested so much, ‘Even a poor tailor is entitled to some happiness!’ And this time, the audience roared. And Zero said to me under his breath, ‘Thaaaat’s it! Thaaaat’s it!”

Today in the Word, February 10, 1993