Based on the film of the same name, Atlantic Theater Company's critically acclaimed musical by songwriter David Yazbek was the winner of ten 2018 Tony Awards, including Best Musical. More…
The Egyptian Alexandria Ceremonial Police Band arrives in Israel to play at the opening of a cultural center. When their hosts don't show, a miscommunication sends them in the wrong direction and they find themselves in a small settlement in the heart of the Negev Desert. With no transportation out until morning and no hotel in sight, the beleaguered band members are taken in by locals. Under the spell of the desert sky, their lives become intertwined in the most unexpected ways.
"One of the most ravishing musicals you will ever be seduced by...A Broadway rarity seldom found these days outside of the canon of Stephen Sondheim: an honest-to-God musical for grown-ups...Directed by David Cromer with an inspired inventiveness that never calls attention to itself, 'The Band’s Visit' flows with the grave and joyful insistence of life itself...Close to perfect musically...A miraculous show." Full Review
"This honey-and-spice-on-the-breeze musical is one of a kind...High among the myriad treasures of 'The Band’s Visit' is the score, deceptively gentle but filled with yearning; and the unexpectedly vibrant performance of Katrina Lenk. Both elements continue to enchant and grow richer, even after repeated viewings...It is safe to say that Sasson gives an equally expert performance. What is perhaps unexpected is that his presence adds a new flavor to the piece." Full Review
"It’s the best thing in town...Directed with an easy rhythm of his own by David Cromer and featuring a sublime score by the multi-talented composer-lyricist David Yazbeck, this is a show that manages with great subtlety and appealing versatility to cover a lot of musical ground, enhanced by a carefully written book by Itamar Moses...A work of low-key charm balanced by the high impact of intuitive ensemble work and a gorgeous score unlike anything on Broadway." Full Review
"Sitting in the last row was just fine, which is a tribute both to the structure of the Ethel Barrymore Theatre and to David Cromer's quietly intense direction. 'The Band's Visit' happens at a whisper, but it is a whisper that fills the theatre with emotion and beauty...It's a theatrical iceberg: 80% of its content is below the surface. The score is lovely, the lyrics by turns funny or moving or both. The performances are exactly right." Full Review
"'The Band's Visit' activates emotions that we would normally avoid in order to push through the hectic tedium of each day...Classical Middle Eastern scales and American jazz seamlessly fuse to create a sophisticated new sound. Through lyrics that are both clever and sincere, Yazbek gorgeously conveys a highly uncommon Broadway love story...The most beautiful musical on Broadway, and the bravest." Full Review
"Absolutely and quietly devastating in its magnificence. It has a beauty to its sadness, and a sense of goodness and hope in its desire. Not much has changed with this perfectly constructed piece...'The Band’s Visit' has become more solid and in some way, sits more squarely and securely on stage...The cast is exceptional...What stood out for me on this visit to Bet Haatikva is the slow build of sadness and longing that settles on every surface in town." Full Review
“Distortion is the danger when a small show moves to Broadway...Rejoice then: ‘The Band’s Visit’ has made the leap with dignity and pure, intense beauty intact...Here is a sound that enkindles profound passion in the soul...The story is perfectly, touchingly simple...The characterizations are rich and layered. Scenes blend effortlessly into songs. The staging’s both utterly theatrical and finely realistic...This bittersweet heartbreaker might be the best we’ll see all year.” Full Review
"Sasson is, not surprisingly, effective in the Tewfik role...For all intents, Gabay (billed as Gabai in the film credits) is repeating his award-winning performance. Though his characterization differs from Shalhoub’s, it doesn’t alter to the least degree the perfect chamber musical that 'The Band’s Visit' was when it bowed at the Atlantic Theater and then moved uptown to the Barrymore Theatre. It’s perfect in every department." Full Review
"Feed your soul: Go see 'The Band’s Visit'...Has stayed with me in the year since it opened off-Broadway, like a dream from which I never wanted to awaken...David Cromer’s production and an incomparable ensemble could not be bettered...Each character is carefully fleshed out over the course of the show’s single act...'The Band’s Visit' flows as if in a seamless, tidal movement, like an ode." Full Review
"The best musical of the year...Directed with supreme finesse by Cromer and performed by the best cast imaginable, this small-scale show is fine enough to fill you with fresh hope for a genre that has lately been running on fumes...Part of what makes 'The Band’s Visit' so special is that it steers clear of the obvious...Moses has translated the screenplay of 'The Band’s Visit' into musical-comedy terms with quiet skill...This fairy tale is one in which it is pure happiness to believe." Full Review
"Cromer has maintained the show’s thrilling intimacy, exploring the meanderings of the human heart...Furthermore, it’s a story that Yazbek’s glorious score, overflowing with rhapsodic melody, mostly set against pulsating middle Eastern rhythms, lifts to a breathtakingly elevated plane...The passing of time has only deepened the masterful performances...One of the show’s triumphs is the authenticity and responsiveness of the entire company." Full Review
"Beautiful music, beautiful story, beautiful acting...One of the many marvels of 'The Band’s Visit' — which is directed with a maestro’s virtuosic vision by David Cromer — is that its composer, David Yazbek, and book writer, Itamar Moses, wring so much personality and melodic soulfulness out of a story about going nowhere...Like other cast standouts, Lenk and Shalhoub have managed to metabolize these characters in ways you don’t ordinarily get to experience in a Broadway musical." Full Review
“’The Band’s Visit’ lives happily without all the usual tawdry tricks beloved by standard-issue Broadway musicals...Nothing that happens in ‘The Band’s Visit’ is ‘very important.’ It’s just all wonderful — heartwarming, heartbreaking, heart-confusing, and mind-stimulating...We get floods of charm, empathy, and human understanding, thanks to Moses’s script, Yazbek’s songs, and Cromer’s stunningly discreet, daringly austere production.” Full Review
“Extraordinary...Moses’ economical book and especially Yazbek’s seductive score delve deep into and celebrate the human condition...Director David Cromer has outdone himself here. The sensitivity with which he treats each character and their respective plights, as well as the patience of his storytelling, is nothing short of miraculous...The cast is absolutely divine...Their ensemble work and music-making make the show.” Full Review
“With quiet lyricism and achingly beautiful humanity, ‘The Band’s Visit’ works its way into your heart and leaves you surprised that you could be so profoundly moved by such a simple tale...The company is uniformly outstanding...A wonderful, understated, and mature show that gets its impact not from spectacle but from the specificity with which it charts a journey of the heart. The band in question may have ended up in the wrong place, but as theater this is a perfect destination.” Full Review
“I was thoroughly touched, amused, and impressed…Musical theatre fans shouldn't expect a show with all the familiar Broadway ingredients…The songs are so well-integrated with the book that they arise organically from the dialogue and situations…Shalhoub…uses his mellifluous voice and delicate gestures to create a man of assured integrity and grace…Lenk is enthralling, her sinewy slenderness and feline features combining with a…lived-in sensibility to create a vibrantly compelling persona.” Full Review
"The same widely acclaimed show plus better acoustics, and better accents...On a second viewing, the musical feels terribly sad, but a beautiful, pleasurable sad, like a song that you can’t stop listening to...This is a Broadway musical unafraid to be different...The tensions between Arabs and Israelis are acknowledged in an understated way, delivering no artificial happiness but suggesting reasons to be hopeful." Full Review
"Like a mirage, it shimmers. But better. Because 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...The book packs warmth, wit, and economy. Irresistible songs blend strains of Arabic and Israeli melodies and flecks of jazz...One resists gushing about a musical that works so wonderfully because it never overstates. It doesn't belt. It whispers." Full Review
"While I feel lucky to have first experienced it in a more intimate setting, I'm happy to report that 'The Band's Visit' on Broadway is still a charmer...Has remained true to the plot and tone of its source but is nevertheless totally fresh and different...The movie's sensitive 'indie' feel has survived...Without trying to be foot-tapping, sing-in-the-shower ear candy Yazbek's score is nevertheless addictively haunting." Full Review
"Modest, mild-mannered but utterly absorbing musical...The integration of David Cromer’s intimate and sensitive direction; David Yazbek’s Middle-Eastern flavored score; and Itamar Moses’ book is so seamless that it is virtually impossible to pick apart...May lack the epic excitement and intensity of something like 'Hamilton' or 'Dear Evan Hansen,' but I doubt that a better written new musical will come to Broadway this season." Full Review
"Yazbek chooses to seduce with music and lyrics that slyly slip into our consciousness through an inspired repetition, with melodies unfolding to make the spirit both ache and soar...Yazbek’s score is perfectly married to Itamar Moses’s lovely book...Cromer doesn’t find the humor in zingers or one-liners but rather in the quirks of characters and places...Yazbek performs marvelous variations to make us hear the music fresh, and in the process almost reinvents the Broadway musical." Full Review
"A special theater treat awaits you...Yazbek’s poignant music and lyrics are so very expressive...The charm of the show follows the odd interaction, especially between Dina and Tewfiq, and all is presented with sensitive understatement. This is a musical that gets under the skin...The step by step getting to know one another that the musical depicts becomes a statement illustrated by the show’s overall magical quality." Full Review
"It transfers to Broadway with its delicate alchemy intact, borne aloft by the intoxicating Middle-Eastern rhythms of David Yazbek's original score and by the soulful performances of an exemplary ensemble...None of the hushed intimacy, the subtlety or nuance of this narratively spare piece has been lost...The entire ensemble is attuned to the show's quiet observations, and its unusual, funny-sad sensibility." Full Review
“This gem of a musical, whose fine book buoys grounded lyrics, embraces what we have in common...That it does so with limpid delicacy eschewing Hollywood outcomes makes the piece as refreshing as it is sympathetic...A wonderful experience...Yazbeck’s infectious music embraces Middle Eastern influences with estimable skill, maintaining an atmosphere of 'other'...There isn’t a single weak link in acting or vocals." Full Review
“The transfer of ‘The Band’s Visit’ hasn’t tarnished the sheer brilliance and joy of Yazbek and Moses’ dazzling, humorous rendering of Eran Kolirin’s 2007 Israeli film of the same name. In fact, it has heightened the real humanity that resounds making one actually believe that it is music that could be the catalyst to solving the world’s problems!...Cromer sensitively directs this exceptional cast with subtlety, finesse, and a sense of humor.” Full Review
See it if you love a well-written script and score, beautiful and accurate representations of Middle Eastern culture, and amazing musicians
Don't see it if you don't like slow-pacing and want spectacle
See it if You enjoy being completely absorbed by a show. This show is quiet and intimate, and can completely captivate you without you realizing it.
Don't see it if You want to see a loud, fun musical. Several times I could hear people around me laugh as if they were uncomfortable with the quiet.
See it if you enjoy nuance shows and delving between the lines and into the complexities of the characters. It is a beautiful, haunting musical.
Don't see it if you are expecting slapstick comedy and big, flashy show-stoppers.
See it if There are no words to describe this show. A theatrical experience unlike any other. A show that will stay with you forever.
Don't see it if Not a show for those looking for an action 'packed night'. This is a small but beautiful & moving story in which not much happens plot wise.
See it if you enjoy raw simplicity, honesty, and impeccable story-telling; if you like to think; you enjoy symbolism and profound artistic statements
Don't see it if you like big, commercialized shows with flashy, in-your-face numbers
See it if You love Dave Yazbeck's music, you can relax & settle in to a slow, sensuous piece that depicts a slice of life, a moment between 2 cultures
Don't see it if You don't like musicals and/or want something fast-paced.
See it if you want an unconventional, well written, beautifully staged show with strong characters, inter-cultural/faith relationships . Perfect show
Don't see it if you are looking for a traditional, flashy, musical.
See it if you're seeking non-traditional; give this a chance. Promise it'll stick w/ you. Explores humanity on a visceral level. The musicality alone!
Don't see it if You want a showstopper or don't want to feel things on a deeper level. This is not just a surface show.
See it if you want to think deeply and quietly about love & music and how they are inseparable and necessary. It's a show for people who love people.
Don't see it if you're looking for a spectacle or a wild evening. The show is tight and slow and soft and will only tug at your heartstrings if you let it.
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