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Casting Pearls ‘Soul Doctor’ at Circle in the Square Theatre

Misani | 8/29/2013, 10:17 a.m. | Updated on 8/29/2013, 10:17 a.m.
Soul Doctor

“Soul Doctor,” the Broadway musical about the life and music of Shlomo Carlebach and his incredible association with the legendary vocalist-musician Nina Simone, opened earlier this month at Circle in the Square Theatre, located at 1633 Broadway in New York City.

With music by Carlebach, book and direction by Daniel S. Wise, lyrics by David Schechter and choreography by Benoit-Swan Pouffer, “Soul Doctor” is described as “an exhilarating musical journey through the triumphs and tribulations of a cultural phenomenon.” As such, the musical chronicles the captivating story of Carlebach, the father of popular Jewish music, and his intriguing friendship with the acclaimed jazz chanteuse, Simone.

Touted as a contemporary troubadour, Carlebach set the world on fire with his soul-stirring melodies, transformative storytelling and unceasing love. After escaping from Nazi Germany, the young rabbi met “The High Priestess,” Simone, who introduced him to soul and gospel music. Inspired by her, Shlomo created an invigorating new sound with melodies that fused his roots with American popular music. Dubbed the “Rock Star Rabbi,” Carlebach incorporated his traditional beliefs with the “free love” generation of the 1960s, which today has helped to shape and define what many consider “America’s most defiant era.”

The cast stars Eric Anderson as Carlebach, a role for which he received the 2013 Drama Desk Award nomination for Best Leading Actor in a Musical for his off-Broadway performance. Co-starring opposite Anderson is Amber Iman, who makes her Broadway debut in “Soul Doctor” portraying the role of Simone.

Rounding out the cast are Jacqueline Antaramian, Dianna Barger, Richard Cerato, Tara Chambers, Maria Conti, Alexandra Frohlinger, Afra Hines, Abdur-Rahim Jackson, Jamie Jackson, Ethan Khusidman, Dillon Kondor, Zarah Mahler, Vasthy Mompoint, Ron Orbach, Ian Paget, Heather Parcells, Michael Paternostro, J.C. Schuster, Eric J. Stockton, Ryan Strand and Teddy Walsh.

The award-winning design team for “Soul Doctor” includes scenic design by Neil Patel, costume design by Maggie Morgan, lighting design by Jeff Croiter and sound design by John Shivers and David Patridge. Orchestrations and additional arrangements are by Steve Margoshes, music supervision and arrangements by Brian Koonin, and music direction and arrangements by Seth Farber.

“Soul Doctor” is produced by Jeremy Chess, Jerome Levy, Robert Beckwitt, Edward Steinberg, Joel Kahn and Danny Boy Productions.

The performance schedule for “Soul Doctor” is as follows: Tuesday and Thursday at 7p.m.; Wednesday, Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m.; Wednesday and Saturday at 2 p.m.; Sunday at 3 p.m. Tickets for all future performances are $135 (which includes a theater facility fee) and can be purchased now through www.telecharge.com, by calling 212-239-6200 or at Circle in the Square box office. For groups of 10 or more, please visit www.groupstelecharge.com or call 212-239-6262 or 800-432-7780. For more information, please visit www.SoulDoctorBroadway.com.

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1) Amber Iman as Nina Simone and Eric Anderson as Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach in Broadway’s “Soul Doctor” (Carol Rosegg photo)

(Kristin perhaps you can use the pic from NYAM News July 18 article. Thank you very much Misani)