Former Cedar Lake Artistic Director Benoit-Swan Pouffer to Choreograph Broadway's SOUL DOCTOR

By: Jun. 18, 2013
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Producers of the upcoming Broadway musical Soul Doctor, about the life and music of Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach and his unlikely friendship with Nina Simone, announced today that Benoit-Swan Pouffer, the acclaimed former artistic director of Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet, will be the show's choreographer. The producers are also pleased to announce full casting and the slated performance schedule.

Beginning performances on Broadway at Circle in the Square Theatre on Wednesday, July 17, with an official opening slated for Thursday, August 15, Soul Doctor has music by Shlomo Carlebach, orchestrated and arranged for Broadway by Steve Margoshes (Smokey Joe's Café, The Who's Tommy), book and direction by Daniel S. Wise, and lyrics by David Schechter.

The new Broadway musical Soul Doctor tells the fascinating 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 legendary jazz singer Nina Simone, who introduced him to soul and gospel music. Fusing his roots with his newfound inspiration, Shlomo created a revolutionary musical sound, writing songs that became instant standards. As a "Rock Star Rabbi" of the 1960s, he struggled to harmonize his traditional beliefs with the "free love" generation. Today, his uplifting music and message help to define America's most defiant era.

Featuring over 30 of Shlomo's timeless hits, Soul Doctor is an exhilarating musical journey through the triumphs and tribulations of a cultural phenomenon.

Eric Anderson will play Shlomo, the role that garnered him a 2013 Drama Desk Award nomination for Best Leading Actor in a Musical, for his performances Off-Broadway, and Amber Iman, making her Broadway debut, will play the role of Nina Simone. They will be joined by a multi-cultural cast including Jacqueline Antaramian, Dianna Barger, Richard Cerato, Maria Conti, Alexandra Frohlinger, Afra Hines, Abdur-Rahim Jackson, Jamie Jackson, Ethan Khusidman,Dillon Kondor, Zarah Mahler, Vasthy Mompoint, Ron Orbach, Ian Paget, Heather Parcells, Michael Paternostro, JC Schuster, Eric J. Stockton, Ryan Strand and Teddy Walsh.

The award-winning design team for Soul Doctor includes scenic design by Neil Patel ([title of show]), costume design by Maggie Morgan (David's Red-Haired Death), lighting design by Jeff Croiter (Newsies) and sound design by John Shivers (2013 Tony-winner for Kinky Boots) and David Patridge.

This production is produced by Jeremy Chess, Jerome Levy, Robert Beckwitt, Edward Steinberg, Joel Kahn and Danny Boy Productions.

Soul Doctor, the new musical about the life and music of Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach and his unlikely friendship with Nina Simone, begins performances at Circle in the Square Theatre on Wednesday, July 17 at 8pm with an official opening slated for Thursday, August 15 at 6:30pm.

The performance schedule is as follows:

  • From July 17 - August 17: Monday - Saturday at 8pm; Wednesday and Saturday at 2pm.
  • Beginning August 19: Tuesday and Thursday at 7pm; Wednesday, Friday and Saturday at 8pm;Wednesday and Saturday at 2pm; Sunday at 3pm.

Benoit-Swan Pouffer (choreographer) was most recently Artistic Director of Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet, a position he held since 2005. The New York Times recently credited Pouffer with building one of the most innovative contemporary ballet companies in America. Born and raised in Paris, he studied at the conservatoire National Superieur de Musique et de Danse. Pouffer's distinguished career as a professional dancer included a 7-year tenure with the renowned Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, seasons with Donald Byrd/The Group and Philadanco, as well as leading outreach programs in South Africa and Master Classes throughout Europe. In 2011, Pouffer choreographed Dangerous Beauty at the Pasadena Playhouse, directed by Tony-nominee Sheryl Kaller. In 2012, Pouffer became the choreographer of the musical Amazing Grace at Goodspeed Opera House, directed by Gabriel Barre. Mr. Pouffer was also featured in, and created the dance sequences for the major picture The Adjustment Bureau, including original choreography for the film's lead actress Emily Blunt. His work on the film earned him a 2011 Fred and Adele Astaire Award nomination for Best Film Choreography.