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Jean Valjean Upper East Side Cantor

“Do you hear the people sing?”

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Great news for show-tune-loving Jews: The new semi-regular cantor at the New York Synagogue on East 58th Street (an offshoot of the society-packed— and -backed—Hampton Synagogue in Westhampton) has played Jean Valjean in Les Miserables on Broadway and the West End and in his native Tel Aviv. In Dudu Fisher’s debut service earlier this month, he performed traditional Jewish choral pieces accented with outtakes from Les Miz and Phantom of the Opera to a packed house of prayer. Of his new star tenor, Rabbi Marc Schneier says, “We’ve raised the bar in terms of what’s available to the Jewish consumer on the Upper East Side.” The yarmulke-clad Fisher, who was the voice of Moses in the Hebrew-language version of The Prince of Egypt, says, “I was offered many Broadway roles after Les Miz and had to decline because I won’t perform on the Sabbath.” So this represents something of a dream gig for Fisher: “There’s obviously never a problem with singing on Fridays nights.”

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