The Shlomo Carlebach musical Soul Doctor: Journey of a Rock-Star Rabbi, which tells the true story of the father of popular Jewish music, will open at Broadway's Circle in the Square Theatre this summer. The musical, which had a previous run at New York Theatre Workshop last summer, will begin previews on July 17, with an official opening set for August 15. Eric Anderson will star as the title character.
Written and directed by Daniel Wise and featuring music by Carlebach, Nina Simone and lyrics by David Schechter, Soul Doctor tells the story of beloved yet controversial father of popular Jewish music, rabbi Shlomo Carlebach, and his friendship with Nina Simone. Beginning with his childhood escape from Nazi Germany, the show follows Carlebach's surprising journey as he becomes a rabbinical prodigy in America, discovers gospel and soul music through his friendship with Simone, and has a meteoric rise as a “Rock Star Rabbi.” In the '60s he performed with the likes of Bob Dylan, Jefferson Airplane and the Grateful Dead. However stardom had a price, and Carlebach had to make peace with his family, faith and personal demons.
The New York Theatre Workshop production starred Anderson (South Pacific) and Erica Ash (Baby It’s You!) as Carlebach and Simone, respectively. The cast also featured Meredith Kaye Clarke (Wicked), Ryan Strand (Jersey Boys), Kenny Morris, Rachel Stern, Dionne Figgins, Ryan Duncan and Julia Osborne. The production ran from July 31, 2012 through August 19.
Soul Doctor will feature scenic design by Neil Patel, costume design by Maggie Morgan, lighting design by Jeff Croiter and sound design by John Shivers and David Patridge.