Clockwise from top left: Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Leonard Nimoy, Sarah Jessica Parker, Tony Kushner, Aaron Sorkin, and Fran Drescher.(Photoillustration Tablet Magazine; original photoes Mark Wilson/Getty Images, Jemal Countess/Getty Images, Christopher Polk/Getty Images, Amanda Edwards/Getty Images, Jason Merritt/Getty Images, and Shutterstock.)

When producer Aaron Harnick approached Abigail Pogrebin about adapting her book Stars of David: Prominent Jews Talk About Being Jewish to the stage, her first reaction was, “What have you been drinking?” Eventually she came around, and now Stars of David: Story to Song is making its off-Broadway debut. The show is a mix of songs—written by 17 song-writing teams, including Marvin Hamlisch, Sheldon Harnick, Gaby Alter, and Marilyn and Alan Bergman—and monologues, all based on Pogrebin’s interviews with high-profile Jews like Aaron Sorkin, Sarah Jessica Parker, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, and Dustin Hoffman.

Michele Siegel talks to creators of the show about how, and why, they transformed a collection of stories and reflections on Jewish identity into musical theater.