Members say: Enchanting, Great acting, Absorbing, Great singing, Slow

About the show

Atlantic Theater Company's critically acclaimed musical by Tony-nominated songwriter David Yazbek transfers to Broadway. Based on the film of the same name, and featuring Tony nominees Tony Shalhoub and John Cariani. 

... 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.

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See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews

The New York Times

"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


"'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


"The set’s a bit grander and the music sounds richer, but success hasn’t spoiled this embraceable musical fable...Broadway theatergoers looking for something off-the-beaten-musical-track should be charmed by this unassuming show...This disarming musical has the emotional depth that holds up to repeated viewings and the offbeat charm that could make it a cult hit." Full Review

Time Out New York

"'The Band’s Visit,' which feels even richer on Broadway, is unconventionally wise. It is rare to encounter a show that has such a graceful sense of time...Moses’s book embraces the unspoken...Yazbek’s score includes not only wryly witty character songs but also joyous instrumentals...Directed with David Cromer with an unblinking eye, the other actors sketch memorable portraits...Bittersweet and built for adults." Full Review

The Huffington Post

"Another musical which tracks a new, different and exciting path...Amusing at first, flavorful next, then ripely funny as leading lady Katrina Lenk takes charge...What started as an unconventional play-with-songs becomes a full-fledged musical, heightened by one of the most evocatively beautiful new songs heard on Broadway in years, 'Omar Sharif'...Mr. Moses perfectly complements Yazbek’s work, and director Cromer provides an altogether enchanting evening." Full Review

What Should We Do?

“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

Lighting & Sound America

"In 'The Band's Visit,' a show about entertaining strangers, music becomes the lingua franca, the only way that connections can be made. If Moses' book is, intentionally, a kind of still-life portrait, Yazbek's songs provide the color and movement that makes us care about these apparently cramped souls thrown together by chance...It has a keenly observing eye; a compassionate, thoroughly unsentimental heart; and plenty of gorgeous music. It's an original, and well worth a stopover." Full Review

DC Theatre Scene

"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

Theatre's Leiter Side

“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 Hollywood Reporter

"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

The Wall Street Journal

"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

AM New York

"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

Front Row Center

“This thoroughly enjoyable new musical is the Seinfeld-of-musicals, in that nothing much happens — but it gently embraces all that is elemental about living life...Katrina Lenk is stunning...The music has an earthy, familiar, convivial quality. It feels old and new at once...The pace of this 95-minute production is all but perfect. The mix of foot-stomping, jump-up-and-join-us numbers artfully juxtaposed with quiet, sweet, introspective solos and duets, is just right.” Full Review

Chicago Tribune

"Typically unstinting in his Chicago-honed artistry of peeling away layers of human defense, Cromer treats this musical as merely a play with music...Moses' book is droll enough that the show has comedy, but it is not a comedy. It is observational and philosophical. Quite breathtakingly so...For some, it will seem like a strange and esoteric Broadway musical, which is not wrong...This is a remarkable and boundlessly compassionate and humanistic piece of theater." Full Review

New York Daily News

"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


"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

Front Mezz Junkies

"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


"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

The Wrap

"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

Theater News Online

“Far from your standard Broadway musical fare...A fairly simple story that reveals many complex acts as a potent reminder of how all people, regardless of race or religion, must deal with the same fundamental issues of wanting love and acceptance. Moses’ book is smart and funny, not to mention remarkably topical...Given the delicate nature of the material, Cromer’s savvy, unfussy direction is the right choice, as it lets the work’s emotions creep on us.” Full Review

Woman Around Town

“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

Wolf Entertainment Guide

"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

Financial Times (UK)

“Cromer blends torpor with flashes of dry wit to conjure a delightfully offbeat atmosphere...‘The Band’s Visit’ has a gauzy, meditative feel, yet seldom drags...Alas, Yasbek’s numbers don’t complement the tale of hesitant romance...The songs tend to sound incidental and fail to add an extra dimension...While 'Visit’s' message of reconciliation through culture may be laudable, the lack of tension between the Egyptians and their hosts seems a little far-fetched." Full Review


"A most unusual Broadway musical; and while it’s beautifully crafted and performed, this one’s very much an acquired taste...The production is charmingly offbeat and haunting...While the tempo is slow and there’s little action, the characters, as written and portrayed are engagingly real. Everyone shines in this production...I’m not sure it will connect with everyone but it’s the product of a most harmonious collaboration featuring artists at the top of their game." Full Review


“The subtle revelations brought on by forced intimacy make ‘The Band's Visit’ a joy. There is as much emotion in this musical as in a Eugene O'Neill play but served with wit, a wonderful sense of human frailties and, of course, music. Yazbek's songs-ranging from the darkly comic ‘Welcome to Nowhere’ (sung by the town folk) to Dina's romantically tinged ‘Omar Sharif’ and ending with the upbeat, danceable ‘Concert’ played as a finale by the Band - rise magically from the dialogue.” Full Review

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews

Ambitious, Clever, Enchanting, Masterful, Great staging

See it if you want to have a wonderful experience attending a musical story about people on the other side of the other side of the world.

Don't see it if a quirky funny heart-warming musical about two different groups of people finding out how more alike than different they are bores you.

Also In quoting the lyrics of one of the songs, my evening in the theater e... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Profound, Refreshing, Slow

See it if You want to see contemporary musical theater with beautiful music.

Don't see it if You like your musicals fast-paced and old school.

Absorbing, Enchanting, Thought-provoking, Great singing, Great staging

See it if want to see a lovely short musical about learning to understand​ people through cultural difference

Don't see it if You want a story with a lot of depth or want something upbeat with dance. If you don't like jazz or Middle Eastern rythms

Absorbing, Refreshing, Great singing

See it if You want to see a beautiful musical that breaks from the Broadway mold, with incredible musical performances.

Don't see it if You prefer long linear plots to "slice of life" portrayals. You're only interested in traditional showtune music.

Funny, Delightful, Enchanting, Intelligent, Entertaining

See it if You love middle eastern music and a plot which makes you appreciate the simpler things in life. A moment, a time, a feeling...

Don't see it if You need a glitzy show. This is more restrained but still highly entertaining. Transportation to a mood.

Absorbing, Delightful, Resonant, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if You loved the music from Once. I got the same feeling when I heard this music.

Don't see it if You are expecting a typical musical. This is not it.

Stay true to the film

See it if you saw the film and liked it. From accent to body movement, it's a direct replica of film, with music

Don't see it if you like traditional musical. This one is unique and unconventional

Enchanting, Great acting, Intelligent, Great singing, Great staging

See it if you want a hauntingly mesmerizing and softly humorous parallel layering of love stories and intertwining lives

Don't see it if you want that "typical Broadway show." No chorus girls, no tap numbers, but a blending of Israeli and Egyptian musical strains.

Enchanting, Great music, Great staging

See it if Egyptians go to Petah Tikva, Israeli City but arrive in kibbutz Bet Hatikva. Then: As-salāmu ʿalaykum (Arabic) aleikhem shalom (Hebrew)Peace

Don't see it if Short fora Broadway show.

Enchanting, Masterful, Refreshing, Resonant, Romantic

See it if you want to see an expertly crafted and performed show. Tony Shalub's characterization is masterful. Kartina Lenk is absolutely mesmerizing!

Don't see it if you need a musical to have lots of glitz and glam. This is a delicate piece without much flash, but overflowing with heart and pure humanity

Clever, Quirky, Slow

See it if You appreciate a musical with cultural representation.

Don't see it if You need to see a high energy show.

Great acting, Good music, Pleasant, Intimate

See it if you enjoy small scale musical theater.

Don't see it if you like character development or big effects.

Funny, Exquisite, Great acting, Intelligent, Great singing

See it if you enjoy a sweeter, quieter musical once in a while

Don't see it if you are looking for a big sing-and-dance musical, this is smaller and sweeter

Disappointing, Overrated, Tiresome

See it if you have great interest in Israel and klezmer-sounding music, and if you can take 90 minutes of a thin plot line.

Don't see it if you are expecting all one anticipates from a Broadway show. This is one that should have stayed off-Broadway.

Also I never cared about any of these characters. The accents were annoying... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Enchanting, Thought-provoking, Great singing

See it if you want an unconventional musical with strange and beautiful songs and a heartwarming story. This is a simple story about what divides us.

Don't see it if you're expecting a 2.5 hr, extravagant production. Everything is beautifully simple, but might seem plain. This musical is quiet & strange.

Also The ENSEMBLE is just incredible. Everyone shines so brightly that it's... Read more Read less

Profound, Romantic, Aesthetically wonderful staging, Awkward hilarious

See it if Phenomenal work on lighting/shadows and spinning stage that more than accentuates the unique musical atmosphere this show presents.

Don't see it if Majority of the humor relies on awkward language barrier and its frequent tender moments require too much absolute quietness from audience

Also I absolutely adore the artistic direction of this show. There was meti... Read more Read less

Intelligent, Indulgent, Cliched, Overrated, Slow

See it if You like to see "the hottest show on Broadway"...

Don't see it if You like theater that is actually well thought out...

Absorbing, Delightful, Must see, Great staging

See it if you like a unconventional musical play. Incorporates the Bands Visit nicely into the show. The message of the book is significant.

Don't see it if you want a typical music production and dynamic songs with big production numbers. This show is low key.

Beautiful, Touching, Unique, Great orchestration, Meditative

See it if it’s very different and unique. Moves slowly but is beautifully executed. The orchestration is great. The set works perfectly.

Don't see it if It’s not a typical musical. Singing is not the main concern. Kinda meditative so one gets lost in place and time.

Great acting, Profound, Resonant, Slow, Great singing

See it if you are a fan of musicals that are more naturalistic, like Jewish and/or Egyptian history, or want to see a simply beautiful musical!

Don't see it if you want an upbeat, fun, big-dance-number type of musical. This is not a typical "Broadway" show

Disappointing, Overrated, Slow

See it if you just have to see what all the fuss is about. I left confused and unsatisfied.

Don't see it if you can resist the appeal of rave reviews.

Not your typical musical-subtle,gentle, lovely, engrossing

See it if you like different musical experiences, mostly lovely, haunting music. No tap shoe here!!

Don't see it if demand typical dance numbers and belted songs. This is quiet and slow and moody

Resonant, Great singing, Great staging, Melodic pacing, Excellent orchestra

See it if You love musical theatre & want to see it before it wins the Tony for Best Musical. You love shows about the simple complexity of humanity.

Don't see it if You don't like musical theatre or you only like flashy musicals.

Funny, Delightful, Great acting, Entertaining, Unique music

See it if You believe that the worlds problems can be solved by individual compassion and understanding. Enjoy Israeli/Arab music.

Don't see it if You are looking for a traditional big budget musical.

Funny, Enchanting, Profound, Refreshing, Romantic

See it if It's a musical about nothing, and yet about everything. It's beautifully staged, sung and performed. Katrina Lenk is superb. The music!

Don't see it if you don't care for new work about a remote place in Israel called Bet Hatikvah where its inhabitants live mundane lives. And yet...

Cast & Creatives (27)