Previews start Oct 07

The Band's Visit

Members say: Great acting, Delightful, Enchanting, Entertaining, Absorbing
82
Critics
84
40 reviews
Members
81
156 reviews
 

Atlantic Theater Company's critically acclaimed musical by Tony-nominated songwriter David Yazbek transfers to Broadway. Based on the film of the same name. 

... Read 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.

 

Cast & Creatives (26)



Reviews (196)

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
84
Avg Score

90
The New York Times

for a previous production "Bet Hatikva is a place you want to visit if you’re looking for signs of new and exciting life in the contemporary American musical...Cromer brings out the eloquence in the surrounding silence and in small gestures. Though Moses’s script operates from a similar sense of understatement, the spoken scenes can occasionally drag...But whenever the show sings, Yazbek’s music transports you to a place both exotic and touchingly familiar...There’s not a performance that feels out of key here." Full Review

90
Theatermania

for a previous production "This charming new musical has a gentle elegance that is all too rare, making it a must-see of the off-Broadway season...Less is consistently more in these performances. This is also the case with Yazbek's songs: None of them qualify as showstoppers, but all of them articulate the feeling of the moment with grace and clarity...Cromer's restrained yet deliberate production fits the story like a glove, allowing for a surprising emotional resonance from the simplest of acts." Full Review

85
BroadwayWorld

for a previous production "A captivating and charming new Off-Broadway musical of cultural and romantic exchanges…Yazbek's score and Itamar Moses' graceful, simmering-with-subtext book are based on director/screenwriter Eran Kolirin's 2007 gentle comedy…Tony Shalhoub, a marvelous stage actor not exactly known for musicals, makes a beautiful impression as Tewfiq…He's matched with Katrina Lenk, who gives a fantastic breakout performance as Dina." Full Review

85
Variety

for a previous production "It’s impossible to resist the quirky appeal of 'The Band’s Visit,' a modest but charming musical...Yazbek and Moses have made magic from a slender fable...Tewfiq transcends conventional character comedy. In Shalhoub’s hands, he is simultaneously funny and sad and a little bit crazy, and you absolutely have to love him...There’s nothing big or grand here. Connections are made on little things, everyday things, common things we all share." Full Review

85
Time Out New York

for a previous production "Sensitively directed by Cromer, these numbers emerge from conversational talk with pure, organic simplicity...Yazbek is one of our best comic lyricists, but here his verses are restrained, pensive and brimful of yearning. Moses matches him for emotional honesty, using silence or misunderstanding to articulate the messy inner lives of the characters...'The Band’s Visit' is remarkably fresh and revelatory." Full Review

85
The Hollywood Reporter

for a previous production "'The Band’s Visit' is a delicately wistful and poignant chamber piece...It’s the way that these people from very different and often opposing cultures come together with common humanity that forms the heart of the show. Yazbek’s lovely score quietly accentuates the emotional moments, with his lyrics displaying tender feeling. The soaring climactic number is absolutely gorgeous. In the expert hands of director David Cromer, the show’s humanistic qualities fully reveal themselves." Full Review

90
The Huffington Post

for a previous production "A surprising, tuneful, humorous and uplifting new musical...This is Yazbek—one of our most colorful composer lyricists—in top form...It’s the magic of the desert and the spell of the music, written in a style which mixes Arabic rhythms with Israeli—but is also based in the common language of American musical theatre...The book by Itamar Moses is a skillful mix of comedy and sentiment without turning crass or cheap...The acting company is uniformly good." Full Review

90
New York Magazine / Vulture

for a previous production "Terrific and wistful...Open-ended to the point of shagginess, 'The Band’s Visit' doesn’t feel like any musical ever...The book takes its shape and tone from the difficulty of communication built into the plot and from the habit of repression of people who have endured too much...'The Band’s Visit' doesn’t sound like anything else you’ve heard...It could nevertheless use some cleanup work around the edges. Perfect is the wrong word for such a rangy, unusual musical, but it’ll just have to do." Full Review

85
New York Theater

for a previous production "A terrifically tuneful score that veers from witty to wistful, sweet to swinging. Writer Itamar Moses is faithful to the quirky story in the film...Moses, Yazbek and the show’s director David Cromer keep the deadpan drollery of the film, but also produce through the individual Israelis and Egyptians alike a collective portrait of yearning...This results in three principal stories, not of culture clashes, but of cultural exchange, often lighthearted but always laced with sadness." Full Review

65
Lighting & Sound America

for a previous production "It's an original, with one of the best new scores to be heard in several seasons…So much of ‘The Band's Visit’ is so strong that I wish everyone involved had found a way to lend it a more defined dramatic profile. The script is little more than a series of vignettes…Pauses are held longer than necessary. Musical numbers end without a flourish...What's right about this show is so good that if you steel yourself for some disappointments, you may find yourself cheering." Full Review

90
The Wall Street Journal

for a previous production "A tender comedy of international manners that is cleverly disguised as a farce...What makes the show so believable is the cast, in particular Lenk and Shalhoub, who bring dramatic depth to parts that could easily have been played in a superficial way...Moses’ book translates 'The Band’s Visit' from screen to stage with seeming effortlessness, while Yazbek’s songs are a trilingual mixture of klezmer, Egyptian pop and jazz. Cromer has once again worked his customary all-but-invisible miracles." Full Review

80
Talkin' Broadway

for a previous production "It is everything the best musicals typically aren't—predictable, shticky, limited of focus—while also unlocking the heart and wonder that the canon's most legendary installments manage. It's totally off-putting yet ultimately enveloping, microscopic and as expansive as the human condition. It works feverishly to make you hate it, but in the end it garners your love just the same...It achieves greatness at the exact moment it matters most." Full Review

45
Times Square Chronicles

for a previous production "I did not adore 'The Band’s Visit.' I was bored. Tony Shalhoub and Katrina Lenk. the girl with the 'It' factor and talent to match, couldn’t even hold my interest. Nothing happens...The music by Yazbek is a combination of Israeli and Arabic and it is compelling...The whole company is phenomenal at what they do. Cromer’s direction is plodding and in the end I felt like I was in a politically correct Hallmark card. Sweet, lovely, charming, but will it make it on Broadway? I highly doubt it." Full Review

95
Deadline

for a previous production "This perfect jewel of a show is not only deserving of a wider audience but also could not be a better agent of hope in a time desperately in need of it...An intimate musical that delights the ear and tugs at the soul, a show in which little happens and everything changes...Cromer is perhaps the most choreographic of today’s star directors. 'The Band’s Visit' flows as if in a single, tidal movement, like an ode...'The Band’s Visit' is very, very important." Full Review

90
CurtainUp

for a previous production "A both funny and poignant charmer. It's that rare screen-to-stage adaptation that has remained true to the plot and tone of its source but is nevertheless totally fresh and different...As directed by David Cromer, the movie's small and delicate feel has survived...Yazbek's marvelously moody score perfectly fits book writer Itamar Moses's version of the film script...The score may lack addictive sing-in-the-shower hits but it offers a different and very impressive kind of ear candy." Full Review

90
Front Mezz Junkies

for a previous production "The cast is exceptional, each one making their mark with song after song seeped in intimate emotionality of every range and color. Yazbek and Moses have created a gloriously original story that envelopes us with a musical sense and style steeped in the two different cultures and somehow blends them in a way that creates something old and new at the same time...Cromer achieves something as wonderful and glorious as the music that swirls out of the band’s instruments." Full Review

90
Newsday

for a previous production "What a moody, strange enchantment...Directed with impeccable poignancy and droll humanity by David Cromer, the seemingly effortless production includes Tony Shalhoub as the grave, heartbreakingly uneasy band conductor...plus a cast of other marvelous actors who play instruments, and musicians who act...Itamar Moses’ delightful and subtle multilingual book takes us through the adventures and absurdities of the night." Full Review

97
TheaterScene.net

for a previous production “Yazbek and Moses' ‘The Band's Visit’ is that rare musical which is not only an improvement over its source material, it also holds up as a unique theatrical experience. The score, the story, the performances, the theme of bridging cultural gaps are all memorable. Tony Shalhoub's Tewfiq and Katrina Lenk's Dina will stay with you long after you have left the theater as will the entire show, a credit to director David Cromer who knows how to make theater magic.” Full Review

85
The Wrap

for a previous production "Yazbek chooses instead 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...Cromer doesn’t find the humor in zingers or one-liners (Moses hasn’t written any) but rather in the quirks of characters and places." Full Review

90
Front Row Center

for a previous production "I was delighted to find my tight muscles relaxing, and my smile growing as 'The Band’s Visit' unfolded...The quiet brilliance of this fairy tale is that nobody is angry, nobody is frightened, and nobody is threatened by the appearance of someone from another tribe...This is not a treacly sweet confection that will leave you with rotting teeth. No this is fine dining at its best. The creators have incorporated something for every taste...We never lose interest or momentum. Bravo." Full Review

95
NorthJersey.com

for a previous production "There are so many things to enjoy about 'The Band’s Visit,' it’s hard to know where to start enumerating them. A good place might be its refusal to take the audience by the hand and explain what it’s supposed to feel. It lets you figure it out...The show hasn’t a dull moment. Even past the end, when the musicians, following the curtain calls, play a rousing number that threatens to have the audience dancing in the aisles, 'The Band’s Visit' is an uncommonly entertaining musical." Full Review

85
CitiTour

for a previous production "Audiences will feel so uplifted by 'The Band’s Visit,' a surprisingly touching musical fable...Moses’ adaptation of the award-winning film...is unusually delicate theatrical fare, thanks in large part to David Cromer’s clear-eyed direction. Better still, the work also acts as a potent reminder of how all people, regardless of race or religion, must deal with the same fundamental issues." Full Review

90
Woman Around Town

for a previous production "A gem of a musical…Katrina Lenk and Tony Shaloub are a match made in heaven. Lenk’s earthy, sensual, smart portrayal make Dina a real and formidable woman. Rarely have the practical and passionate been so believable in tandem. And she has a superb voice…Shaloub’s performance is layered and nuanced...Director David Cromer has both a soulful character touch and the kind of comprehensive staging vision that never makes a false move." Full Review

80
Wolf Entertainment Guide

for a previous production "The direction by David Cromer is very clever, as is the use of the revolving stage in Scott Pask’s set design…There are performance standouts, foremost among them Katrina Lenk in the role of Dina, the café owner. There is a delightfully fresh originality to her performance…The catchy music in the show is a mix of regional and showbiz contemporary, and at the end the band assembles for a rousing, audience-pleasing number." Full Review

90
Theatre is Easy

for a previous production "A captivating musical about an Egyptian band in an Israeli desert in which humor, beauty, and talent all fuse together seamlessly...What makes 'The Band's Visit' special is its ability to let the cultural differences color the show's world, but not rule it...Certainly there is magic in being given less than two hours to spend with 'The Band's Visit'—the short length makes this gift of a show all the more priceless. But this doesn't change the fact that I am still yearning for more." Full Review

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
81
Avg Score

87
For a previous production
Absorbing, Clever, Great acting, Great singing, Great staging

See it if you like a beautiful story told with elegance and humor. very engaging.

Don't see it if you want your musicals with high kicks and lots of jazzy dancing.

92
For a previous production
Ambitious, Delightful, Wonderful story, Film to musical, great!

See it if Love the film? Run to the show. Story Is a delightful treatment of Arab/Israeli relationships. Brings humanity to all the characters.

Don't see it if You do not like musicals. You cannot conceive of Arabs or Israelis as human beings. You cannot appreciate a small story on a major issue.

80
For a previous production
Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Great singing, Great staging

See it if Looking for a "small" character-driven musical

Don't see it if Need something flashy; this show is very intimate

95
For a previous production
Absorbing, Exquisite, Great acting, Resonant, Great writing

See it if You're a fan of David Yazbek - it's some of his best work.

Don't see it if You need a lot of "action" in your musicals. This is a lovely little musical with a lot simmering just beneath the surface.

85
For a previous production
Absorbing, Delightful, Great acting, Relevant, Resonant

See it if you love a show that's neither a musical or a straight play but something magically in between.

Don't see it if you like your band musicals loud and peppy. This is no Music Man.

84
For a previous production
Clever, Intelligent, Great singing

See it if you want to hear beautiful music and see a show that has a interesting perspective on human interactions.

Don't see it if you need something more fast paced. The show moves very slowly and not much happens, but it's still very moving.

92
For a previous production
Delightful, Exquisite, Great acting, Quirky, Touching

See it if you enjoy well-acted stories about human connection and appreciate eastern-influenced music. Tony Shaloub's performance was extraordinary.

Don't see it if you want something flashy or action-driven. This musical is "quiet" in the most wonderful way. Loved the post-curtain call jam session!

90
For a previous production
Thought-provoking, Quirky, Relevant, Great music, Exotic

See it if you like interesting and unusual characters, situations and music.

Don't see it if you can't get over the baby blue uniforms.

82
For a previous production
Absorbing, Great acting, Profound, Resonant, Entertaining

See it if You like a good story, told well - with terrific original music.

Don't see it if You want splashy singing and dancing

85
For a previous production
Delightful, Slow, Great singing

See it if you want a charming evening about an Egyptian band visiting a small town in Israel. Wonderful cast. Standout performance by Tony Shaloub.

Don't see it if don't have patience. This piece takes a while to grow on you, but it does. Not an "in your face" traditional musical. But a gem.

Also I didn't know anything about the piece in advance, and found it refres... Read more Read less

58
For a previous production
Quirky, Disappointing, Slow, Great singing

See it if you liked the movie and you want to see a great company perform a new David Yazbeck score.

Don't see it if you prefer when musicals have a plot. I know that was the point, but it just didn't do it for me. I felt like I kept waiting for it to start

87
For a previous production
Absorbing, Delightful, Great acting, Entertaining

See it if you love David Yazbek's music and want to see a hear middle eastern musical influences, and you don't need an epic storyline

Don't see it if you want a big, flashy musical or incredible singing (apart from the female lead)

90
For a previous production
Delightful, Enchanting, Intelligent, Refreshing, Relevant

See it if you like small, 1-act chamber musicals rooted in humanity w/ lovely melodies; tales of ordinary people from different backgrounds connecting

Don't see it if you're expecting a big, brassy musical; you don't like intimate stories of people trying to find happiness, you dislike Middle Eastern music

100
For a previous production
Absorbing, Enchanting, Must see, Refreshing, Romantic

See it if Loved the songs and the cast. An engaging story about an Egyptian mini-orchestra who travel to the wrong Israeli town but make new friends.

Don't see it if You like big, loud musicals.

95
For a previous production
Funny, Enchanting, Great acting, Relevant, Great staging

See it if you love beautifully sung lyrics by talented people. See it if you have a heart and have ever been in love.

Don't see it if you are expecting a big, brassy Broadway musical.

Also This is a small gem of a show with exquisite songs and haunting music.... Read more Read less

85
For a previous production
Enchanting arab-israeli musical fantasy

See it if 4 moving story Egyptian band brings romance 2 dead-end Israeli town, Yazbek's pulsating Mid/Eastern score, fine T. Shalhoub/luminous K Lenk

Don't see it if as fantasy don't expect this musical to deal with hard truths about Arab-Israeli conflict that make it so intractable to solve

83
For a previous production
Delightful, Great acting, Masterful, Must see, Refreshing

See it if you like smaller musicals about human beings with complicated, if undramatic, lives. You like ensemble shows and great music.

Don't see it if you dislike ensemble shows and small stories. You need all the story lines to be wrapped up at the end. You don't like seeing the musicians.

Also I loved this show. Yes, they were able to build this fantastic, creati... Read more Read less

95
For a previous production
Clever, Must see, Great staging, Brilliant score

See it if you like innovative shows. This is a delightful small show with an absolutely brilliant score. Marvelous performances.

Don't see it if you are looking for Jersey Boys. This show has something to say and says it beautifully.

86
For a previous production
Enchanting, Resonant

See it if beautiful score by Yazbek. Charming story with characters that feel real.

Don't see it if if you want to see an uplifting show or the usual musical with over the top dramatic situations, plot twists, etc.

89
For a previous production
Funny, Clever, Delightful, Great acting, Relevant

See it if A delightful and meaningful production well acted particularly Shaloub and Ms. Lenk and well performed music !

Don't see it if If a relevant and semi-political plot does not please you.

79
For a previous production
Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Relevant, Resonant

See it if a small, charming story of the humanity in intimate encounters from cultures that aren't all that far apart when politics doesnt intervene

Don't see it if You want linear plot and heroic conflict, political commentary, lots of laughs or elaborate staging.

90
For a previous production
Absorbing, Delightful, Fluffy

See it if you like feel-good shows. This one portrays Israelis and Arabs playing nicely together.

Don't see it if you prefer shows that explore heavy concepts.

100
For a previous production
Delightful, Exquisite, Great acting, Refreshing, Great staging

See it if You don't want to miss a play perfect in all regards. The casting, the acting, the ensemble's work were especially wonderful

Don't see it if You only enjoy conventional big Broadway musicals

91
For a previous production
Absorbing, Great acting, Quirky, Relevant, Entertaining

See it if you want to see a gem of a play; an unexpected mistake changes the lives in a small, dull town, if only temporarily; great acting.

Don't see it if quirky is not your style; you want to see a finished play ready for Broadway; not interested in a new, beautiful score.

Also What I enjoyed the most, is to the actors' credit - not a false note i... Read more Read less

69
For a previous production
Disappointing, Overrated, Underwhelming, Forgettable

See it if you haven't seen Tony Shalhoub on stage. This isn't his best role, but he's a great actor that you should see at least once.

Don't see it if you prefer full-bodied characters that make you feel something, and a plot that pulls you in. I didn't care about any of it.

Also The characters aren't fully developed. Considering the short, 90-minut... Read more Read less