Soul Doctor on Broadway Reviews

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Soul Doctor Broadway Reviews Average Critics Rating:

5.33 out of 10
Average Users Rating:

9.00 out of 10
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Soul Doctor: Theater Review - Score: 7
From: Hollywood Reporter By: Frank Scheck Publication Date: 08/15/2013

Director/book writer Daniel S. Wise attempts to cram far too much into the proceedings, which feel much longer than two-and-a-half hours. The choppily episodic storyline is enlivened by some three dozen songs written by Carlebach, mostly featuring new English-language lyrics by David Schlechter. Although simple in structure, they're undeniably infectious, and their joyous energy does much to fuel the evening.

Review - SOUL DOCTOR In Need Of A Show Doctor - Score: 6
From: BroadwayWorld By: Michael Dale Publication Date: 08/15/2013

If more of Soul Doctor was like that warm, darkly humorous and hesitantly emotional scene, the musical would be far more interesting than the awkward and clichéd point-by-point biography occupying Circle In The Square after a stint Off-Broadway and a regional tour...Soul Doctor may have a decent share of enjoyable moments, and sometimes even moving ones. But a housecall from a show doctor is definitely in order.

Review: Unusual rock star rabbi hits Broadway in colorful but mostly tuneless ‘Soul Doctor’ - Score: 6
From: Associated Press By: Peter Santilli Publication Date: 08/15/2013

The new Broadway musical "Soul Doctor" examines the life and times - and music - of Shlomo Carlebach in a unique, if plodding, study of a charismatic holy man who finds himself stuck between an unstoppable force and an immovable object. Carlebach, widely considered to be the modern era's father of Jewish popular music, makes for a fascinating biographical subject, even if the re-orchestrations of his staid, folksy compositions aren't quite lively or diverse enough to fill a two-hour, 30-minute musical...In the lead role, Anderson displays a formidable presence - and beard - with a disarming mix of placid shyness and childlike bursts of kinetic energy.

Rabbi With a Beat and Tie-Dyed Prayers - Score: 6
From: New York Times By: Charles Isherwood Publication Date: 08/15/2013

Given this unusual blend of elements, it should be no surprise that "Soul Doctor" is a bizarre and at times bewildering musical. Carlebach's life certainly makes for a fascinating story...But "Soul Doctor"...lays out Carlebach's journey in mostly blunt, often hoary strokes...Carlebach's music, much of which was written to accompany traditional Jewish songs and prayers, is often beautiful and blends folk instrumentation with more recognizably traditional liturgical sounds. Mr. Anderson sings with a soft, captivating intensity, and the orchestrations often appealingly evoke Carlebach's original recordings. But Mr. Anderson's performance is limited by the superficiality of Mr. Wise's book.

'Soul Doctor' review: Rock-Star Rabbi - Score: 6
From: Newsday By: Steve Parks Publication Date: 08/15/2013

Eric Anderson as Shlomo and Amber Iman as Nina spiritedly lift "Soul Doctor" beyond Old and New Testament realms...Shlomo and Nina's first encounter is worth even the Broadway price of admission...Neil Patel's Wailing Wall set moves us seamlessly to the jazz and hora beats of Seth Farber's orchestra and Benoit-Swan Pouffer's go-with-the-flow choreography...But we're most disappointed in the final tableaux -- phonier even than presidential candidates hugging after a primary slugfest. Zealots don't forgive perceived infidels. This is a biographical musical, not a Disney fantasy.

Broadway Review: ‘Soul Doctor’ - Score: 6
From: Variety By: Marilyn Stasio Publication Date: 08/15/2013

Lots of luck marketing "Soul Doctor" to a general audience. This worshipful musical biography of Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach, the so-called "Rock Star Rabbi" credited with infusing Jewish music with the musical idioms of 1960s pop culture, has obvious appeal for its core audience of fans. But there's nothing transcendent about Daniel S. Wise's plodding book or Rabbi Carlebach's "soulful" but dated music to lift the show out of its narrow niche and give it the universal appeal of a latter-day "Fiddler on the Roof."

Review: 'Soul Doctor' in need of a cure - Score: 6
From: Staten Island Advance By: Micael J. Fressola Publication Date: 08/15/2013

As the multi-sided Schlomo, Eric Anderson shows us more than once how joy detonates inside his character, expanding until he is bouncing up and down, practically fountaining love and warmth. How nice for him. But interested bystanders, some of us at least, might enjoy the joy ride too. But as delineated by director Daniel S. Wise and lyricist David Schechter, it skips past us.

STAGE REVIEW Soul Doctor - Score: 5
From: Entertainment Weekly By: Keith Staskiewicz Publication Date: 08/15/2013

Oy gevalt. It's not that there's anything particularly terrible about Soul Doctor, the biographical musical about the late 'rock-star rabbi' Shlomo Carlebach, but there isn't all that much to recommend either. Carlebach is certainly an interesting figure: An Orthodox Jew who embraced pop music and hippiedom over traditional scholasticism and rose to prominence in the 1960s, he served as a striking countercultural counterpoint. But director Daniel S. Wise's production - which consists mostly of a Judaic jukebox of Carlebach's popular melodies - fails to achieve anything beyond a standard, and occasionally cringeworthy, retelling of his life.

'Soul Doctor' dispenses syrupy medicine - Score: 5
From: USA Today By: Elysa Gardner Publication Date: 08/15/2013

Alas, the musical's mix of hokey humor and preachy sentimentality is bound to test the most altruistic spirit...By the time he reaches Jerusalem -- near the end of Doctor, which runs two and a half hours with an intermission -- anyone still paying attention will have accumulated enough material for a goodwill sermon and a Borscht Belt comedy routine. Surely, there are more entertaining, less trying ways to promote universal harmony.

Rocking Rabbi Flees Nazis, Leads Flower Children: Review - Score: 5
From: Bloomberg By: Philip Boroff Publication Date: 08/15/2013

Combine "Fiddler on the Roof" with "Jersey Boys," add some "Hair" and hokum and you get a taste of "Soul Doctor," a lively, occasionally cartoonish new musical on Broadway. For fans of Carlebach, the bushy-bearded, guitar-strumming singer-songwriter who mixed contemporary genres with traditional Jewish music, the show has dozens of his songs to recommend it...Given its anemic sales, "Soul Doctor" may not be practicing for long. Those intrigued by this passionately performed niche entertainment shouldn't dawdle. For the less choosy of the chosen people, the musical hits the spot.

Journey from temple to tempo - Score: 5
From: NY Post By: Elisabeth Vincentelli Publication Date: 08/15/2013

Actually, that hackneyed vibe applies to the whole show, from Benoit-Swan Pouffer's vague choreography to the groan-inducing dialogue. You often wish "Soul Doctor" had called a script doctor - especially when Shlomo's warned that he's "gonna do the horah/In Sodom and Gomorrah." To which even a gentile might sigh, "Oy vey."

Friday the Rabbi Sang Out: Soul Doctor on Broadway - Score: 5
From: Vulture By: Scott Brown Publication Date: 08/15/2013

he necessary gigantism of a Broadway production (even the relatively intimate Circle in the Square has an arena-like feeling) presents us with a question Soul Doctor isn't prepared to answer: Was this hippie rabbi a rock star?A guru? A teacher who did his best work in small kum-ba-yah minyanim? The man, the mensch, and the myth are never parsed with anything approaching curiosity. This is a singalong, steeped in deep fondness, which one can either meet or miss. The show doesn't insist, doesn't specify-only obsessively informs.

Theater Review: 'Soul Doctor' - Score: 4
From: amNY By: Matt Windman Publication Date: 08/15/2013

Is there a doctor in the house? Not a medical doctor, or even a "soul doctor," whatever that is, but what is known on Broadway as a "show doctor," a playwright or director who can step in and salvage a musical with serious book problems. "Soul Doctor" - a new musical about the life of rabbi and singer-composer Shlomo Carlebach that comes off as a sanitized, overstuffed mix of "The Jazz Singer," "Fiddler on the Roof" and "Hair" - is badly in need of such help...Despite all of these problems, one is still tempted to cut "Soul Doctor" some slack in light of its openhearted and accepting tone...As Carlebach, Eric Anderson provides an energetic performance that captures the character's spirit and sensitivity.

Soul Doctor - Score: 4
From: Time Out NY By: Adam Feldman Publication Date: 08/15/2013

The best that can be said about Soul Doctor, a strange Broadway musical based on the life and music of "singing rabbi" Shlomo Carlebach, is that it isn't as bad as it sounds...The songs hold up well-it's hard not to bop along to "Am Yisrael Chai"-and Eric Anderson's full, warm voice does Carlebach honor; Amber Iman is impressively poised as Nina Simone, whose friendship with him is the focal point of Daniel S. Wise's episodic book. But the show digs shallowly into its central character and his beliefs, and often rings false. The real Carlebach was a complex, fascinating man, with flaws as well as melodies...Reverent to a fault, Soul Doctor bleaches a story that cries out for tie-dye.

‘Soul Doctor,’ theater review - Score: 4
From: NY Daily News By: Joe Dziemianowicz Publication Date: 08/15/2013

The show never moves beyond the basic chronology. Carlebach's precise place and significance in history remain as fuzzy as his bearded face, even after spending hours with him. Yes, he cut some records and gave concerts, and, like everyone, his life was a bumpy journey. While it's certainly not the aim of the creative team, Carlebach emerges as a novelty, a footnote in both the Jewish faith and folk-rock.