Soul Doctor

Defiant Joy: The Music Of Shlomo Carlebach On Broadway

In “Soul Doctor,” the new musical inspired by the life of Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach, there’s a moment of transcendence in the first ten minutes.

Hayden Wall and Anthony Laciura in "Soul Doctor"

‘Soul Doctor’ Redux

Retooled production of Carlebach musical plays down the counterculture rabbi’s biography in favor of his songs.

12/08/2014 - 19:00
Special To The Jewish Week

If anyone saw himself as a fixer, it was Shlomo Carlebach. With the extraordinary power of his original melodies, the wonder-working rabbi traveled around the world beginning in the 1960s, helping Jews who were suffering from drug abuse, loneliness and alienation from Jewish life. Ironically, “Soul Doctor,” the musical about Carlebach’s life and career, has itself been in need of repair. After a highly publicized flop at the Circle in the Square on Broadway last year, the musical returns, Off-Broadway this time, in its 11th incarnation. And now, the creative team believes, the musical has finally found its voice. The retooled show, which is currently in previews, opens this Sunday at the Actors’ Temple Theatre in Midtown.

Josh Nelson as Shlomo Carlebach with his so-called Holy Beggars. Carol Rosegg

Getting A Read On Carlebach

Author of new book suggests it’s still too early to gauge rabbi’s true influence.
11/04/2013 - 19:00
Special To The Jewish Week

There has been a huge outpouring of material about the life and music of Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach since his death 19 years ago at the age of 69. There have been memoirs, articles, hagiographies, photo collections, magazines, records, tapes and hundreds of Youtube entries. There even was a Broadway show, “Soul Doctor,” which ran for nearly 100 performances until it closed last month.

New biography of Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach, by Natan Ophir, exhaustively documents the life and career of the late Jewish troubadou

‘Soul Daughter’

In music and life challenges, Neshama Carlebach following in father’s footsteps.
10/15/2013 - 20:00

As the August premiere of the Broadway musical “Soul Doctor” drew to a close, the daughter of the show’s subject, the late Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach, took to the stage.

As Broadway show about her father closes Neshama Carlebach is very much having her moment. Photo via

Birthright To The Broadway Rescue

Trip alums get free tix to ‘Soul Doctor’ in bid to pump up flagging sales.
10/01/2013 - 20:00
Jewish Week Correspondent

Birthright alums, it turns out, are just what the “Soul Doctor” ordered.
Last week, the Birthright Alumni Community announced that it will be offering free tickets to the Broadway play about the life and times of counterculture Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach — to past participants of its program, which offers a free 10-day trip to Israel for young Jews ages 18 to 26.

Eric Anderson as Carlebach and Amber Iman as Nina Simone in "Soul Doctor." Carol Rosegg

An Earthbound ‘Soul Doctor’

Show on the life of Shlomo Carlebach aims for spiritual uplift but doesn’t soar.
08/19/2013 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

A 2008 Israeli documentary about Shlomo Carlebach, “You Never Know,” features followers of the late rabbi visiting his grave in Jerusalem, recounting stories of meeting him, and talking about the immense impact that he had on their lives.

Higher ground: Carlebach leading his cast of “holy beggars.” Carol Rosegg

Carlebach’s ‘Burning Desire To Heal’

Musical about the controversial ‘voice of Jewish revival’ hits Broadway after long trip.
08/05/2013 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

They called him the “Singing Rabbi,” the dynamic performer who transformed Jewish life with ecstatic chasidic melodies. Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach married Jewish teachings with a universal message of peace and love. Now “Soul Doctor,” a new musical based on the man and his music, is coming to Broadway. Yet swirling around the show, which opens next week at the Circle in the Square, are the allegations of sexual harassment that surfaced after his death in 1994.

Carlebach’s higher ground: Peace, love and Jewish teachings.
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