Fathom Events and Lisa Simone present the film Soul Doctor, the Broadway movie-musical about the ‘rock star’ Rabbi Shlomo Carlbach, and his relationship with the music and civil rights icon Dr. Nina Simone.
The special nationwide screenings of Soul Doctor will take place in more than 600 select theaters for one night only on June 13. For tickets and information, please visit Fathom Events.
Additionally, audiences will be treated with a very special message at the beginning of the film’s new theatrical release by Executive Producer Lisa Simone, who states, “Soul Doctor is a testament to the healing power of music. It is medicine for the soul, plain and simple. The kinship between Nina Simone and Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach demonstrates the influence we can have on each other when we look past our differences. Their impact on each other, and the world as we know it today, remains a beacon of what is possible when we follow our heart’s calling no matter the odds.”
Lisa Simone is the Executive Producer of the Emmy and Peabody Award-winning, and Academy Award and Grammy-nominated Netflix documentary about her mother, WHAT HAPPENED, MISS SIMONE? She is also the recipient of the National Theatre Award for Best Actress in a Musical for the title role in Disney’s AIDA and starred in the original cast of RENT on Broadway.
Soul Doctor tells the story of the beloved yet controversial father of popular Jewish music, Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach. 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 childhood escape from Nazi Germany, the young Rabbi formed an unlikely friendship with musical icon and pioneer, Nina Simone, who introduced him to Soul and Gospel music, and a Jewish music and cultural revival was born. Fusing his roots with his new inspiration, Shlomo created a revolutionary musical sound, writing songs which continue to be the main body of Jewish musical standards. The “Jewish Gospel/Soul” experience he introduced to the synagogue worship remains the most popular of services across all denominations of Jewish practice.
Rabbi Carlebach’s anthem “Am Yisrael Chai” is sung by thousands of young people each year, in the procession to Auschwitz for March of the Living. The late Pope John Paul II often opened his stadium tour mass with Shlomo’s song of unity “Brothers and Friends”.
The film of Soul Doctor opens on the 10th anniversary of its Broadway premiere. The show was originally workshopped at National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene and subsequent productions in New Orleans, Miami, and Off Broadway, at Jazz at Lincoln Center, The Roundabout Theatre Company (which featured India Arie as Nina Simone), and New York Theatre Workshop. Soul Doctor was the feature presentation at the “Israel at 70” Festival in Jerusalem, where the production was filmed.
With music by Shlomo Carlebach, lyrics by David Schechter, script and direction by Daniel Wise, and choreographed by Abdur Rahim Jackson (Alvin Ailey, Beyonce “Halo” music video and Superbowl Show), the film stars Tony Award® nominee Josh Young (Broadway’s Jesus Christ Superstar and Evita) as Shlomo, Nya (star of the recent Cleopatra and the Broadway revival of Caroline or Change) as Nina Simone and Emily Padgett (star of Broadway’s Side Show, Rock of Ages, Bright Star, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) as Ruth.
The cast also includes Charlotte Moore (Les Miz, ALW’s Wizard of Oz), C.J. Tyson (Wicked), Rebecca Kritzer (In the Heights), Marvin Meital, Yovel Moss, Allison Poccia, Lital Shalit, Toni Elizabeth White, Luke Wygodny (Once), Jordan Zell, and Marc Zell and original Broadway cast members: Richard Cerato and Abdur-Rahim Jackson (who also choreographs).
Music direction is by Haim Tukatchinski with musical arrangements by Seth Farber, Brian Koonin and Bashiri Johnson. Film editing is by Or Benzrehim and surround sound by Ronen Nagal.
Dr. Naomi King, civil rights activist & sister-in-law of MLK, remarked, “Any person watching this movie, it’ll shake ’em, move ’em and change ‘em to help make this a better world.” Susannah Heschel, Professor of Jewish Studies, Dartmouth and daughter of Civil Rights icon Rabbi A.J. Heschel, remarked, “Soul Doctor the Movie is a tribute to Nina Simone’s enormous influence. By inspiring and encouraging Shlomo Carlebach, Nina contributed to the extraordinary revival of Jewish music and spirit immortalized by Shlomo.”
Of the stage musical, The New York Times raved, “Inspiring and absorbing! A joyous Leaping Roar!,” and The Wall Street Journal cheered, “exhilarating! riveting! Hilarious!” Time Out New York said, “a spectacular cross between Fiddler on the Roof and HAIR,” and The Examiner exclaimed, ”A certifiable hit…Genius! Five stars.” The London Financial Times lauded, “While libraries have been written about the similarities of historical struggle between jews and African-Americans. I have never seen them put across more eloquently than in Soul Doctor.”
“Soul Doctor’s writer/director Danny Wise said, “The unique achievement of the film is how the award-winning post-production team was able to create a genuinely cinematic experience while maintaining the energy of the live performance; it’s exhilarating to see the movie audiences singing and clapping to the music – dancing in the aisles at the end!”
A special introduction to the movie was filmed exclusively for the Fathom audiences by Lisa Simone along with “Call, Clap & Sing Bootcamp” where famed percussion master Bashiri Johnson teaching audience how to Call, Step, Clap, and Sing.
Soul Doctor concludes with a historical epilogue showing rare footage, bringing to life Simone, Carlebach, and other characters, created by Colombian-born filmmaker Nicole Fernandez and Somondoco Films.
The film of Soul Doctor is produced by original Broadway producer/conceiver Jeremy Chess, along with Jerome Levy and Chandra McQueen, with Lisa Simone Executive Producer.
Soul Doctor was originally produced on Broadway by: Jeremy Chess, Jerome Levy, Edward L. Steinberg, Robert Beckwitt, David Haft, Ken Abramowitz, Brian Murray and Joel Kahn, in partnership with Michael H. Steinhardt.
Tickets for Soul Doctor are on sale through the Fathom Events website and participating theater box offices. For a complete list of theater locations, visit fathomevents.com (participating theaters are subject to change). Visit your local theater website for the most up-to-date information related to their health-and safety measures.
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