Lenny Solomon hopes the road from Babylon to Broadway runs through Haworth, New Jersey.
It already has passed through Phoenix, Arizona.
That’s where Solomon, whose band, Shlock Rock, has been a fixture on the Orthodox music scene for more than 25 years, was urged by a rabbi at a Jewish day school hosting him for a concert to look at the Book of Daniel, which the rabbi had just taught to his class.
Solomon, who now lives in Bet Shemesh, Israel, but grew up in Queens, took the suggestion seriously.
|Lenny Solomon at the piano.|
“I said, ‘Oh my God, this will translate to theater.’ I got taken in by the story. It enveloped me.
“I wrote the whole musical ‘Daniel in Babylon – A New Musical’ in a month. I sat down at the piano and every day another song would come in, or an idea that I would develop. I couldn’t get over it. It was as if God was handing me a full length musical on a platter. It was like receiving musical prophecy. It’s the best thing I’ve ever written.”
By the end of May, 26 songs had been completed. As in “Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat,” virtually every line is sung.
Solomon already had dipped his toes into the world of the Broadway musical. He has released several albums of parodies; two of them parody Broadway, featuring songs like “Get Me to the Shul on Time” and “There’s No Business Like Shul Business.” Other albums feature original compositions. All told, his 34 albums have sold nearly 200,000 copies.
If all goes according to plan, the album for “Daniel in Babylon – A New Musical” will not feature Solomon on guitar and lead vocals.
“I’m not going to be performing it. I’m not acting in this. I’m the writer. Nobody should get the idea that they’re going to see Lenny as Daniel,” he said.
Instead, he is raising money on the Kickstarter.com web site to recruit an orchestra and singers to record the soundtrack. If he raises the $36,000 he is seeking, recording sessions will take place at his favorite recording studio, in Haworth, in October.
For a $10 pledge on his Kickstarter.com site, donors will receive 10 songs from the musical; $18 gets a complete soundtrack. Larger donations receive increasingly more lavish rewards; for $5,000, Solomon will provide a private concert in your living room.
YouTube videos featuring Solomon perform demos of some songs on the piano can be found on his Kickstarter page at http://kck.st/Q34DUZ.