Within Judaism and the Rabbi’s the lead the thousands of Jewish congregations around the world, Shlomo Carlebach was both a visionary, a wunderkind and a man ahead of his years. Shlomo was the son of a Rabbi and a descendant of a respected Rabbinical dynasty. Born in 1925, he and his family were able to part of the small minority of Jews that were lucky enough to escape Nazi Europe before the borders closed.
As an adult, he was known for being revolutionary (or a heretic, depending on your point of view). His goal was to return the joy and love to the traditional Jewish liturgy. But some within the Jewish community, including his own father vehemently disagreed with Shlomo’s vision of Judaism. But it was his friendship with legendary R&B singer Nina Simone that changed both of their lives.
The new Broadway musical, Soul Doctor, is the story of Shlomo’s life as he tries to discover who he wants to be. The show starts as Shlomo returns to Vienna, the city of his youth to perform. It then flashes back to Shlomo’s boyhood and then follows his journey to discover who he is and the life he wants to lead.
I liked this show. I haven’t seen many Broadway musicals recently and I have no interest in seeing most of what is presently playing on Broadway. But this one is enjoyable.
The audience does not have to be Jewish or know anything about Judaism to understand or enjoy the show. The recurring theme of finding your voice and being yourself when everything and everyone is pointing to fitting in is universal.
I recommend it.