‘Soul Doctor’ to premier this weekend at Walton Theater

Published 4:23 pm Friday, February 28, 2020

“Soul Doctor,” a Broadway musical turned motion picture, will be screened at the Walton Theater Sunday at 4:30 p.m., followed by a community conversation on “Jewish and African-American relations” led by writer and director Daniel Wise.

“Soul Doctor” won for Best Feature at the New York Kwanzaa Film Festival.

The production tells the story of the beloved yet controversial father of a popular Jewish musician, Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach.

After Carlebach fled Nazi Germany, the rabbi formed an unlikely relationship with legendary jazz singer Nina Simone, who introduced him to soul and gospel music, the catalyst for a revival in Jewish music and culture.

“This story highlights the emerging paradigm shift and the need for a cross-cultural approach to racism in the aftermath of Jim Crow segregation and the European Holocaust,” said “Soul Doctor” producer Jeremy Chess.

According to a press release, “‘Soul Doctor’ introduces a unique perspective to the national conversation on Jewish [and] African-American relations; how the African-American struggle and revival helped shape the post-Holocaust Jewish experience, with Nina Simone influencing the Jewish revival, contemporary Jewish music and synagogue worship.”

The New York Times raved that the musical was “inspiring and absorbing” and a “joyous leaping roar.”

Likewise, The Wall Street Journal called the musical “exhilarating,” “riveting” and “hilarious.”