(Previously entitled "Rabboni")
A Note From Jeremiah & Wendy Ginsberg
There is no more beautiful story in the history of the world than the Gospel.
"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." (John 3:16)
We became Believers decades ago and were amazed to discover that Jesus is Jewish and His Hebrew name is Yeshua, which means "salvation."
We felt it imperative to tell the epic story of the life, death and resurrection of our great Messiah in a Jewish way, in the most beautiful way imaginable, complete with music and dance, humor and pathos.
The musical, "Rabboni," (now "Mendelís Messiah") was created to bring all of these diverse elements onto the Broadway stage in the theatre capital of the world, New York City, where it would have world-wide impact.
"For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Messiah: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believes; to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile." (Romans 1:16)
We delight in bringing this magnificent age-old story to life, to dramatize the truth of Godís love for humanity with artistry and excellence befitting the awesome soon-to-return King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
The Word of God and the Gospel story of the life of Yeshua are powerful. As a musical, it is even more powerful, bringing the audience from laughter, to heart-wrenching tears, to uplifting joy in a story that is so impacting as to be amazing! And itís better and more Scripturally accurate than "Godspell" and "Jesus Christ Superstar!"
What the world needs now is "Mendelís Messiah!" We hope youíll join us as we bring the Light of the Gospel to New York City, around the country and on to Israel.
"And He said unto them, Go into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." (Mark 16:15)
In His Love,
Jeremiah & Wendy Ginsberg
The musical, "Mendelís Messiah," opens with Mendel Moskowitz, our Jewish "Everyman," alone in his apartment in Brooklyn. He reads a note from his wife telling him itís over and she has taken only the good furniture. Depressed, he prays to God. "If Youíll show me the road to follow, I will shoulder the load for You. I will shoulder the load when Iím weary. It will cheer me to follow You."
Not getting an immediate answer to his prayers, he sits in his easy chair and falls asleep. What then unfolds is a fantastical journey! He is transported in dreams back in time to Ancient Jerusalem where he meets Yeshua and the Disciples, as well as the buffoonish Beelzebub and the Demons.
A dramatic, sometimes hilarious battle between good and evil ensues not only for Mendel but also between Yeshua and Beelzebub. Yeshua is triumphant over Beelzebub, death and hell, and Mendel triumphs over the darkness of unbelief.
In the process, like "The Screwtape Letters," with the epic quality of a "Fiddler On The Roof" or a "Les Miserables," and with exquisite music comparable to a Gershwin or Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, we present in "Mendelís Messiah" the unadulterated Gospel story gloriously alive on stage: The Life, Death and Resurrection of Yeshua the Jewish Messiah! And now, the show must go on!
1980: Jeremiah Ginsberg wrote the book, music and lyrics of "Rabboni" ("Mendelís Messiah") in Lubbock, TX, and then drove to Los Angeles and held auditions.
1981: Jeremiah Ginsberg produced "Rabboni" in major churches in the Los Angeles area, including the United Community Church of Glendale (Pastor William Steuart McBurnie). The production was seen by thousands, including representatives from The Southern California Motion Picture Council.
October 1981: Jeremiah Ginsberg won a Bronze Halo Award from The Southern California Motion Picture Council "for producing, composing and writing the great dramatic musical, ĎRabboni.í"
1982-1983: Jeremiah Ginsberg met and married the talented writer/actress, Wendy Ross. Together, they re-wrote the script, left Los Angeles with their infant son, and moved to New York, the theatre capital of the world.
June 1985: After a year and a half of raising money, Jeremiah & Wendy Ginsberg finally completed the financing, and "Rabboni" opened off-Broadway at The Perry Street Theatre to rave reviews. It was a feature story on The 700 Club.
August 1985: After 88 outstanding performances at The Perry Street Theatre, Jeremiah & Wendy Ginsberg closed "Rabboni" to produce it on Broadway. They rented The Minskoff Theatre and re-cast the show with Broadway talent, including Paige OíHara, the voice of "Belle" in Disneyís "Beauty and The Beast," and Davis Gaines, who starred on Broadway in "Phantom of The Opera."
November 1985: "Rabboni" rehearsals begin at The Michael Bennett Studios for a Broadway opening on December 21, 1985.
December 1985: Rehearsals were suspended and the cast released when one of the major investors did not entirely fulfill his financing commitment.
1994: Jeremiah & Wendy Ginsberg produced a limited engagement of "Rabboni" at The Colony Theatre on Lincoln Road in Miami Beach.
2000: Jeremiah & Wendy Ginsberg produced several concert version performances of "Rabboni" featuring Connie Kunkle who starred as Fantine in "Les Miserables" on Broadway.
2015-2016: After 30 years, Jeremiah & Wendy Ginsberg are reviving "Rabboni" (now "Mendelís Messiah") on Broadway!
"Rabboni" premiered at The Perry Street Theatre in Greenwich Village in June of 1985 to rave reviews.
"An up-tempo, captivating success!"
"The greatest portrayal of the Gospel
ever to come out of the creativity of man!"
"Another shining theatrical piece!
Bravo to Mr. Ginsberg, a remarkable talent!"
"A bright light off-Broadway!"
"Exhilarating musical celebration!"
"Better than Fiddler on the Roof!"
"Great dramatic musical!
My husband and I invested in its production
and we feel that many Christians need to consider
doing the same!"
Jeremiah Ginsberg (Producer, Music & Lyrics, Book) graduated from UCONN and New York Law School, and practiced entertainment law in New York City and general business law in Connecticut. Now retired from the practice of law, he has been in ministry for over 40 years. A composer and jazz musician from his youth, he has written hundreds of songs, many of which were recorded by major jazz artists. Over the last 34 years, Jeremiah Ginsberg (Book, Music & Lyrics) and Wendy Ginsberg (Co-Writer) have written and produced for the stage four original musicals based on the Biblical text.
Wendy Ginsberg (Producer, Co-Book Writer) graduated from the University of California at Berkeley, returned to Los Angeles, studied acting with Charles Conrad, Winifred Keithly and Milton Katselas, and was in "Funny Lady" starring Barbra Streisand, "Kojak," commercials and Glamour Magazine. While a script reader at 20th Century Fox, she began writing spec screenplays. She met her future husband at an audition for "Rabboni." She got the part!