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

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

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

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

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


"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

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

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

Theater Pizzazz

“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: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews

Great staging, Sensual, Tender, Israeli, Middle eastern

See it if You love David Cromer as a director, Israeli culture, pace, aesthetic. This is an elegant, sober musical (almost solemn). Unique energy.

Don't see it if You are expecting a happy snappy musical theater spectacle.

Absorbing, Enchanting, Great acting, Refreshing, Great writing

See it if You enjoy quiet, personal shows with real character-written songs. A human story involving Arab/Israelie relations.

Don't see it if You only like over-miced, pop songs that all sound alike.

Funny, Clever, Thought-provoking, Refreshing, Entertaining

See it if I love Tony Shaloub, so he was the big draw here. Cast is very talented and music is original. A bit overrated, but entertaining.

Don't see it if You are not into Israeli- Arab relations. If you can get two for one tickets it’s worth it.

Intelligent, Intense, Disappointing, Slow

See it if Katrina Lenk and Adam Kantor are still in it. They are the highlights. Katrina Lenk is visionary and endlessly compelling to watch.

Don't see it if you aren't interested in the slower, more artsy storylines that aren't very event/plot driven. Or if you don't have an interest in the music

Funny, Great acting, Intelligent, Great staging

See it if sweet little show with good acting and some nice songs.

Don't see it if only like huge musicals with large casts and big production numbers.

Intelligent, Slow, Great singing, Great staging

See it if You like character studies. The plot is very slow and not too dense, but very beautiful about the random interactions btw characters

Don't see it if You want a fast-paced story, or are looking for contemporary music.

Thought-provoking, Romantic, Great writing, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if enjoys light hearted musical and serious shows with some laughs and a few tears. Wants to feel good after the show

Don't see it if not interested in musicals

Great acting, Thought-provoking, Masterful, Resonant, Gorgeous

See it if You want to experience a gorgeous, impactful yet humorous tale of ephemeral human connection

Don't see it if You are looking for a show-stopping spectacle

Refreshing, Disappointing, Slow

See it if You want to see something fresh and new and you like simple storytelling

Don't see it if You want something riveting, compelling or spectacular. There are great truthful moments but it didn’t all come together for me.

Disappointing, Overrated, Slow, Great singing

See it if you like the movie or have some emotional bonds with the places of the story.

Don't see it if you don't to be bored to death.

Also It is very slow, a waste of time. How a Broadway play can be so boring... Read more Read less


See it if You liked the movie and films where not much happens at all. It’s ok, but not a great musical. Worth it for some things...

Don't see it if You loved the movie because it’s a much much much better film

Refreshing, Relevant, Entertaining

See it if A new pleasant musical is always a treat for fans of the genre. Katrina Lenk add a lot to the tale & Tony Shalhoub adds his appeal.

Don't see it if Not interested in a small interval free musical set in Israel.

Delightful, Exquisite, Refreshing

See it if You appreciate shows that are simply sweet. Katrina Lenk's performance will melt your heart.

Don't see it if You didn't like the movie. The show sticks close to the movie, although there is some filling in of some of the story.

Also This show is an enigma; although it's mood is tranquil, calm, slow-pac... Read more Read less

Clever, Delightful, Enchanting, Great acting, Entertaining

See it if You enjoy learning about the trials and tribulations that connect is.

Don't see it if You don’t enjoy heartfelt human stories.

Delightful, Great acting, Quirky, Entertaining, Great staging

See it if you enjoy offbeat musicals with quirky story lines, especially when supported by outstanding performances, especially in the two lead roles.

Don't see it if you only like either traditional Broadway or cutting edge modern scores because this is neither. Also if you demand high stakes drama.

Clever, Resonant, Disappointing, Slow, Great singing

See it if You enjoy seeing music as an universal language. You can appreciate understated play about everyday life.

Don't see it if You want a light plot and a flashy musical.

Enchanting, Refreshing, Riveting, Slow, Understated

See it if you want to see something different from the conventional shows of this season. A powerful, subtle story about unexpected human connection.

Don't see it if you prefer fast-paced musicals based on mainstream films and books or flashy, fluffy shows.

Enchanting, Refreshing, Slow, Great singing

See it if You want to see a very unique musical with beautiful music and incredible talent.

Don't see it if The story is very slow moving and takes about 30 min to get moving into the interesting parts of the story.

Also Katrina Lenk is completely mind blowing and an incredible talent.

Absorbing, Great acting, Refreshing, Great singing

See it if you want a little slice of life musical that is beautifully performed.

Don't see it if you need big elaborate numbers in your musicals.

Funny, Clever, Delightful, Great acting, Entertaining

See it if you like heart warming stories of different cultures that meet and enjoy each other. Lovely songs and beautiful moments.

Don't see it if you are expecting a big musical. This is more of a play with music. If you don't respect and like other cultures then this isn't for you.

Banal, Overrated, Slow, So, so quiet, Nice singing, but a snoozefest

See it if You want to see what all the fuss is about; does not compare to DEH or Ham. This is a slight little show, with nice music. And that's it.

Don't see it if this is a sweet little show, but way overrated; it never seems to get going anywhere. It's not a bad show, but it also failed to impress.

Also They begin and end with telling you that this thing happened in a town... Read more Read less

Overrated, Entertaining

See it if you enjoy a feel-good show with enjoyable music, decent singing, good acting, and fine staging.

Don't see it if you avoid episodic theater pieces with more or less predictable outcomes.

Also The play starts off excellently--high energy, humor, a sense of the ch... Read more Read less

Boring, Disappointing, Overrated

See it if you're a fan of any members of the cast. The afternoon I saw it, I believe there were several Monk fans in attendance

Don't see it if you're looking for a show with an engaging book and/or a compelling score. Honestly, this show was just plain boring from start to finish

Absorbing, Clever, Delightful, Slow

See it if You want a sweet story about two sets of people coming together. The music is amazing and almost haunting.

Don't see it if You want a quick moving, traditional musical.

Absorbing, Exquisite, Must see, Relevant

See it if Loved it off-Broadway. Katrina Lenk and Tony Shalhoub. Beauty in simplicity, big in heart. Perfection.

Don't see it if Expecting over-the-too musical.

Cast & Creatives (27)