Back by Popular Demand… The Soul of Gershwin

Followed by new Theodore Bikel play

The South Florida Sun-Sentinel proclaimed last spring’s limited engagement of The Soul of Gershwin, The Musical Journey of an American Klezmer, “the best theatrical revue to play South Florida in years.”

Calling it “jazzy, rousing, soulful,” the Miami Herald cheered the show that offers up Gershwin’s classics including S’ Wonderful, I Got Rhythm, Summertime and Someone to Watch Over Me cleverly mixed with dramatic surprises.

Now, theatrical producer Arnold Mittelman is bringing the unique 23-song theatrical concert back by popular demand to the Parker Playhouse for performances from Wednesday, November 12 to Sunday, Nov. 23.

Michael Paul Levin as George Gershwin

“Last March the word-of-mouth buzz brought out long lines of eager ticket buyers for the sold-out final performance,” says Mittelman. “We have literally been inundated with requests to bring the show back to South Florida and I was honestly surprised at the effect this music had on young people from all walks of life. They absolutely love it!”

The show is grounded with a magnificent onstage klezmer band, three powerhouse vocalists and an actor who brings George Gershwin to life, as it takes the audience on an exploratory journey through the musical and ethnic influences that stoked Gershwin’s genius.

Following The Soul of Gershwin, The Musical Journey of an American Klezmer, Mittelman has a great follow up: presenting Theodore Bikel in Sholom Aleichem: Laughter Through Tears at the Parker Playhouse January 28 – February 1 immediately following its world premiere at Theater J in Washington, D.C.

Billed as “a life of stories with music and song,” Bikel’s new play – which he also wrote – portrays the writer often called the Jewish Mark Twain and a medley of his colorful characters including those which inspired Fiddler on the Roof.

(Clockwise from bottom) Michael Paul Levin
as George Gershwin with Robert Marinoff,
Prudence Johnson and Bruce A. Henry

Mittelman brought his longtime colleague and friend, Bikel, to the South Florida stage a number of times while he helmed Coconut Grove Playhouse, including The Disputation and The Gathering in 1999, Chaim Potok’s The Chosen in 2004, and About Time in 2006.

Both the Gershwin show and the new Bikel play fall under the auspices of Mittelman’s two new theatrical companies, the American Theater Festival and National Jewish Theater.

Mittelman’s latest ventures have garnered the support of such theatre legends as Jack Klugman, Eli Wallach, Theodore Bikel and the late Paul Newman.

Other founding donors for the National Jewish Theater and American Theater Festival include: Jean Ellen Shehan, James McConnell, Alan Potamkin, Harvey and Roberta Chaplin, Nancy and Herschel V. “Hank” Green, Isabel and Marvin Leibowitz, Parker Playhouse Foundation, Leonard Miller, Gloria Scharlin and family, R. Kirk Landon, Rob and Fran Ruwitch, Akerman Senterfitt/Judge Michael Chavies, Paul Newman/Newman’s Own Foundation, Sue Miller, Arnold and Susann Mittelman, Marilyn Kalusin Berens, CBRE | CB Richard Ellis/Stephen Siegel, Ana Azcuy and Ted Gelman, Carolynn and Michael Friedman, Patricia Wollowick, Joanne and James Mitchell, Grant Thornton/Emily and Mitchell Less, Mary Ann and Ray Larsen, Ron and Charlene Esserman, Mount Sinai Medical Center, Maurice Wiener, Lang Baumgarten, Isaac Sredni, and Ray Cooney.

Producing Artistic Director Arnold Mittelman,
Jack Klugman, and supporter Harvey R. Chaplin,
Chairman and CEO of Southern Wine & Spirits

Performances of the Soul of Gershwin are at 8 p.m. on Wednesdays and Fridays; 2 and 8 p.m. on Thursdays and Saturdays; and at 3 and 7:30 p.m. on Sundays at the Parker Playhouse, located at 707 N.E. Eighth St. in Fort Lauderdale.

Tickets are $32.50 to $65 and may be purchased by calling 954-462-0222, or select your seat online at www.parkerplayhouse.com. A discount on a two-show package to The Soul of Gershwin and Sholom Aleichem: Laughter Through Tears is available by calling the box office and using the password “sholom.”