“Soul Doctor” is coming to Broadway, and will begin previews at Circle in the Square on July 17. The official opening will follow on August 15.
The musical has played engagements in Florida and New Orleans, and also appeared Off Broadway last summer at the New York Theatre Workshop. The subject of the musical is the real story of Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach, who had a passion for music and a relationship with Nina Simone.
Eric Anderson will reprise his role as Carlebach in the Broadway version after also playing the rabbi in the Off Broadway production. Amber Iman will play Simone.
Here’s the full official word on the story from producers:
“Soul Doctor” is an exhilarating musical journey through the triumphs and tribulations of a cultural phenomenon. It tells the fascinating story of the father of popular Jewish music, Shlomo Carlebach, and his unlikely friendship with Nina Simone. A modern-day troubadour, Shlomo ignited the spirit of millions around the world with his soul-stirring melodies, transformative storytelling and boundless love.
After his escape from Nazi Germany, the young Rabbi befriended the legendary jazz singer Nina Simone who introduced him to soul and gospel music. With the “High Priestess of Soul” as his inspiration, Shlomo created a joyous new sound with melodies that fused his roots with American popular music. With his meteoric rise as a “Rock Star Rabbi,” he struggled to harmonize his traditional beliefs with the “free love” generation of the 1960s. Today, his uplifting music and message help to define America’s most defiant era.
Music featured in the musical is by Carlebach himself, with lyrics by David Schecter, who created the musical along with Daniel S. Wise. The book is written by Wise, and he also directs. Additional music is provided by Neshama Carlebach, the daughter of Shlomo Carlebach.