Running since October 2017 An Egyptian police band arrives in Israel to play a concert when a mix-up at the border leaves them stranded and must seek the help of the locals in this new musical.
From the producers: An Egyptian Police Band arrives in Israel to play a concert. After a mix-up at the border, they are sent to a remote village in the middle of the desert. With no bus until morning and no hotel in sight, these unlikely travelers are taken in by the locals. Under the spell of the desert sky, their lives become intertwined in the most unexpected ways. "The Band's Visit" celebrates the deeply human ways music and laughter connect us all.
"The Band's Visit" is based on the critically-acclaimed 2007 Israeli film of the same name. It was Israel's original Foreign Language Film submission for the 80th Academy Awards, but was rejected by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences because it contained over 50% English dialogue. The film won eight Israeli Ophir Prizes awarded by the Israeli Film Academy.
Casting Notes: Tony Shalhoub takes a temporary hiatus from the production beginning 3/1. Dariush Kashani ("Oslo") steps into the role of Egyptian police band leader Tewfiq in the interim. Shalhoub will return in May for select performances.
"The Band’s Visit" originally opened Off-Broadway in 2016 at the Atlantic Theater Company to a large number of positive reviews and sold out the remainder of its run shortly after. The production won two Lucille Lortel Awards, for Outstanding Musical and Outstanding Lead Actress in a Musical (Katrina Lenk); two Outer Critics Circle Awards, for Outstanding New Off-Broadway Musical and Outstanding Score (David Yazbek); the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award for Best Musical; two Obie Awards, for Musical Theater (David Yazbek and Itamar Moses), and Directing (David Cromer).
This hushed, heart-melting musical is real - and truly magical. The show is a quiet musical meditation that casts a spell through its songs, alluring ambience and excellent actors. Moses and Yazbek have created something rare, grown-up and special. The book packs warmth, wit and economy. Irresistible songs blend strains of Arabic and Israeli melodies and flecks of jazz. Onstage musicians showcase the music to the max. Pay this beautiful show a "Visit."
Yazbek's haunting music and deadpan lyrics perfectly capture the Israeli humor that made the original movie such a favorite. There are no elaborately choreographed dance sequences or dramatic betrayals or plot twists. The only revelation is that there are no revelations; that humans and their petty, internal concerns, their hopes and failures, are worthy enough to sing about. It's a quiet, beautiful thing "The Band's Visit" does, and while I wished there had been more something - more emotional payoff, or catharsis - I also recognize that that's sort of the point.