If you mix “Fiddler on the Roof” with “Hair” and “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” you may come up with something close to “Soul Doctor”. This true story (musical) follows Shlomo and his family from Vienna, to Brooklyn, across the US and circles back to Vienna. Shlomo’s father is a Jewish Rabbi who must flee his country and make a better life for his family in New York. His oldest son, Shlomo is the chosen one to carry on the tradition of becoming a Rabbi. However, his calling and walk with God turns out to be different than his father’s.
Jacqueline Antaramian, the mother, was true to character and a treat to watch. Since we moved from different locations, proper accents would have been welcomed. She was the only one who held her accent throughout the show. Shlomo, played by Eric Anderson, was perfectly cast. His acting choices and vocal range fit the bill. Although Amber Iman who played Nina has received rave reviews, I didn’t care much for her voice. Let’s call it a matter of taste. Ruth played by Zarah Mahler had a rich voice. Her song “I Was a Sparrow” was powerful and left a lasting impression.
Choreographer Benoit-Swan Pouffer allowed the ensemble to move fluidly around the stage as well as into the audience. During “Sing Shalom” the audience started to clap and engage with the cast as they were up close and personal with them. The onstage band sounded superb and helped the story piece move fluidly.
Although it was not my favorite show, everyone in the audience seemed to be having a great time. In my opinion, there are things that could have been changed (mainly script), however it was entertaining and interesting. For more information check out: http://www.souldoctorbroadway.com