We all know the musical about the singing nun. Well, this is the one about the singing rabbi.
"Soul Doctor," a musical about the late Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach, is coming to Broadway, with an opening scheduled for Aug. 15 at the Circle in the Square in New York. The musical ran last year at the New York Theatre Workshop and has also played in New Orleans, Miami Beach and Ft. Lauderdale.
In those productions, actor Eric Anderson played Carlebach, tracing his biography from humble Holocaust refugee to the countercultural Orthodox sensation who wove together folk music and traditional Jewish tunes. The show also recounts Carlebach's friendship with singer Nina Simone.
According to a Times obituary, Carlebach, who died in 1994, was welcome in areas with few Jewish residents because, an associate explained, "his spiritual message parallels many New Age ideas."
"Soul Doctor: Journey of a Rock Star Rabbi" is the joint creation of Jeremy Chess, David Schechter and Daniel S. Wise. It features music written by Carlebach and performed live on stage.
A review in the New York Times last year described the production at the New York Theatre Workshop as "overlong," with a running time of two hours, 45 minutes. "It comes alive, however, when Mr. Anderson bursts into song."