The musical dramatization of Carlebach's life and music is scheduled to run through Nov. 11. It premiered at Le Petit Theatre in May; the current run at that theatre is billed as a pre-Broadway engagement.
Ben Crawford (Broadway's Shrek and Les Miserables) stars as Carlebach with Rosalind Brown (One Mo' Time, Footloose) as legendary singer and frequent Carlebach collaborator Nina Simone, Tony Award nominee Eleanor Reissa (My Fair Lady, Those Were the Days) as Shlomo’s mother and Jamie Wax (Goin' to Jackson) as Reb Pinchas.
The ensemble is rounded out by Donovan Bendana, Frances Bordlee, Turner Crumbley, L.R. Davidson, Tucker Godbold, Jeffrey Gunshol, Richard Hutton, Chase Kamata, Sal Mannino, Maddie Mateer, Kenneth Thompson, Dwayne Sepcich and Emily Bennett Walker.
Holly Anne Ruggiero directs the musical, which features Carlebach's music, lyrics by David Schechter and a book by David S. Wise, with additional material by Carlebach's daughter, Neshama Carlebach. Drama Desk Award winner Steve Margoshes (Fame, The Who's Tommy) provides a musical score and orchestrations.
Gerry McIntyre (Tick, Tick…Boom!, Once on This Island) choreographs with Grammy Award nominee Seth Farber serving as musical director and arranger. According to press notes, "Soul Doctor tells the true story of one of the most beloved and controversial personalities of the post World War II generation, Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach. The father of contemporary Jewish music, he ignited the spirit of millions around the world with his melodies, storytelling and teachings. He created a new genre of Jewish music - partially influenced by the black spirituals and his relationship with a then-unknown Nina Simone - that inspired millions and changed the modern Jewish experience. He is often credited with helping to revive the Jewish experience in the aftermath of the Holocaust."
Le Petit Theatre de Vieux Carre is located at 616 St. Peter Street in New Orleans. For tickets, visit souldoctorbroadway.com or lepetittheatre.com, or call (504) 522-2081.