The Band’s Visit
(1 hr 30 mins, no intermission)
The most honored musical of the 2016-2017 season (prizes included the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award for Best Musical) transferred to Broadway after a limited Off-Broadway run and became the most honored musical of the 2017-2018 season, winning 10 Tony Awards, Broadway’s highest accolade.
An Egyptian police band is in Israel to give a concert, when, through a mix-up at the bus station, the musicians are sent to an isolated village deep in the desert. Locals take pity on the band, and unexpected connections are made. Music and lyrics are by David Yazbek; the book is by Itamar Moses (based on the screenplay by Eran Kolirin); and direction is by David Cromer.
On June 26, 2018, Sasson Gabay made his Broadway debut as “Tewfiq,” the role he created in the 2007 film on which the musical is based.
Schedule: Tu-Th 7 pm, F-Sa 8 pm, W & Sa 2 pm, Su 3 pm
EDITOR’S OPINION: A jasmine wind blows on Broadway: “The Band’s Visit” is the most scintillating, thoroughly satisfying musical on the Great White Way, an economic, probing and true slice of the human condition. See if your heart doesn’t break and tears flow at least twice during the 90 intermissionless minutes; see, too, if you don’t walk out with a smile on your face, happy that your fondest hopes for mankind have been confirmed. As the leader of the band quotes, “Hope is a reality in our lives. Who can live without hope?” David Yazbek’s Middle Eastern-inflected music soars; his lyrics are pure poetry (“Nothing is as beautiful as something that you don’t expect”); and the book by Itamar Moses is a fable for grownups written by a grownup: It’s like “honey in your ears, spice in your mouth.” The cast does impeccable work, with Katrina Lenk in a star-making performance and Tony Shalhoub proving yet again that he is just possibly the finest stage actor of his generation. Watch his hands.—Francis Lewis
WINNER of 10 2018 TONY AWARDS, including Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical, Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre, Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical (Tony Shalhoub), Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical (Katrina Lenk), Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical (Ari’el Stachel), Best Lighting Design of a Musical, Best Sound Design of a Musical, Best Direction of a Musical, Best Orchestrations