Open run

The Band's Visit

Members say: Great acting, Enchanting, Slow, Great singing, Absorbing
83
Critics
87
54 reviews
Members
83
573 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, 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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Cast & Creatives (26)



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Reviews (627)

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
87
Avg Score

100
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

95
Theatermania

"'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

85
Variety

"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

85
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

95
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

90
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

90
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

85
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

90
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

90
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

95
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

90
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

80
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

85
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

95
Deadline

"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

90
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

90
CurtainUp

"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

95
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

90
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

80
Theater News Online

“Far from your standard Broadway musical fare...A fairly simple story that reveals many complex virtues...it 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

90
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

90
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

65
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

80
NY1

"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

90
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
83
Avg Score

85
Enchanting, Masterful, Relevant, Great singing, Beautiful score

See it if You support new musicals with original scores. Beautiful use of Middle Eastern musical styles. and moving theme of power of music.

Don't see it if A slip of a plot but moving characters. Miss it if MidEast peace is touchy for you. 90 minutes without interruption.

Also What a beautiful and original score! Performers sing and play instrume... Read more Read less

92
Enchanting, Refreshing, Great music, Great singing, Touching

See it if Small, quiet story that weaves a mighty spell. Totally enchanting. Music is breathtaking, enhanced by actors playing their own instruments.

Don't see it if You want a big Broadway spectacle; this is not that. It doesn't need bells & whistles - the magic is in the simplicity & glorious music.

92
Absorbing, Enchanting, Exquisite, Great acting, Great writing

See it if you want to experience a new classic musical.

Don't see it if don't care for musicals with heart.

85
Ambitious, Intelligent, Refreshing, Great writing, Well-crafted

See it if you enjoy musicals that read as plays and want to experience a new kind of musical.

Don't see it if you are easily bored, don't enjoy a lot of dialogue in musicals

Also Katrina Lenk is the true star of this piece. Her acting is so nuanced ... Read more Read less

90
Funny, Absorbing, Masterful, Resonant, Romantic

See it if The visit of an Egyptian band to an Israeli town will fill you with the sounds of romantic longing. Lovely and moving show expertly played.

Don't see it if Your idea of a musical is garish designs infused with hyperactive music. This modest show plays to the gentle cadence of small town life.

95
Funny, Great acting, Great writing, Great singing, Great staging

See it if you like shows that are dialogue driven, middle eastern music, great acting, intimate feel, ensemble driven and similar in style to Once.

Don't see it if You like classic, grand and epic shows. Don’t like dialogue driven, slower paced shows. Don’t like middle eastern music or culture,

70
Great acting, Confusing, Slow

See it if You want to see a serious interpretation on clash of the cultures with humorous twists

Don't see it if You want a story driven show, the format is closer to character studies rather than a linear story.

100
Great acting, Intelligent, Masterful, Great writing

See it if this is a show of rare and appealing excellence, exquisite musical score, impeccable cast, and flawless performances.Outstanding.A MUST SEE!

Don't see it if do not miss this opportunity to be transported to another time and place by the seductive and sublime music and story of this musical.

Also The entire cast was fantastic. Standouts were Katrina Lenk, as the tou... Read more Read less

73
Lovely moments but disappointing

See it if seeking, as some have observed: "ordinary beauty"; for lovely simple moments of intimacy, music, stage-craft that most could relate to.

Don't see it if you want to be entertained or surprised; felt like a sweet-dreams bedtime story meant to soothe anguished adults.

70
Ambitious, Intelligent, Slow

See it if You enjoy diverse musical genres in a single show.

Don't see it if If you need a hero or villain driven plot. It is enjoyable but moves very slowly.

70
Great acting, Disappointing, Overrated, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if you want to see a lovely, non-offensive musical with beautiful music and very little plot (that is very self-aware of having).

Don't see it if you have high hopes of this being the next best musical. The music is beautiful, but I left feeling like a lot was missing.

90
Absorbing, Delightful, Enchanting, Refreshing

See it if They had me at 90 minutes, no intermission. Charming, intelligent, and moving, yet refreshingly schmaltz-free and not tourist-pandering.

Don't see it if Mirabile dictu, they get the Israeli accents and attitudes exactly right. Katrina Lenk, annoying in Indecent, is outstanding here.

Also A traveling angel story writ large.

95
Absorbing, Enchanting, Resonant, Great singing, Quiet

See it if You want to see a stunning musical that is quiet, contemplative, and thoughtful and rewards patient attention with rich beauty.

Don't see it if You want a big show—a big story, big production numbers, or big ballads. You want razzle dazzle and don’t appreciate small and intimate.

96
Touching, Quiet, Simple in its beauty, Beautiful in its simplicity, Humanistic

See it if you can appreciate a beautiful, simple story of people form different worlds forming a connection. The music is lush and gorgeous.

Don't see it if you prefer musicals to be big and flashy or simply want to sit back and be entertained without having to invest in characters.

Also I went into this show kind of knowing what to expect, but not really. ... Read more Read less

92
Ambitious, Enchanting, Masterful, Must see, Slow

See it if best indie musical of the season (and constructed and directed as such); Shaloub gives such depth and dignity to allow Lenk & others to shin

Don't see it if deliberate nature of action and direction to start may lull some to immediate sleep; is often very precious

90
Beautiful, Great music, Slow paced, Evocative, A lot of heart

See it if you care more about mood and characters than plot. Not much happens. Lenk and Shalhoub wonderful as are the musicians.

Don't see it if you need a splashy show or if it would bother you to not understand every word. There is a bit of Hebrew and Arabic thrown in.

Also This is very true to the 2007 film. It feels especially relevant today... Read more Read less

71
Ambitious, Disappointing, Overrated

See it if You want to see "the show of the season" or another fantastic performance from Katrina Lenk.

Don't see it if You aren't prepared to think or you buy too much into the hype - just wasn't my cup of tea.

82
Enchanting, Great acting, Hilarious, Entertaining

See it if you can see the fabulous female lead, it was a good tale & she hit the ball out of the park

Don't see it if you don't want to be surprised by how endearing tony shaloub was also

Also the musicians were nice too

91
Enchanting, Great staging, Unique, Lush

See it if Enjoy incredibly specific, gorgeous, masterfully crafted musical theater that doesn't try to be more than it is. Astounding performances.

Don't see it if Looking for flash or splash, or a conventional romance.

97
Funny, Delightful, Slow, Great singing, Great staging

See it if you want to see a beautiful show about people from different backgrounds coming together and forming meaningful connections.

Don't see it if if you need a show that has a lot of action. It is very slow and takes place over one night.

80
Absorbing, Ambitious, Enchanting, Great acting, Great staging

See it if You like intimate, character driven musicals that feel more like plays with music. The cast is excellent as is the direction and design.

Don't see it if You prefer big splasssy musicals. My one complaint was I felt no Israeli/Egyptian tension between the charters, which was a bit unbelievable

65
Romantic, Indulgent, Disappointing, Slow, Great singing

See it if you are taken by powerful individual performances or love Broadway shows that don’t feel like Broadway shows.

Don't see it if you’d be bothered by a show clearly written by men that does not pass the Bechdel test and could have used some work on its way to Broadway.

85
Original, Absorbing, Charming, Subtle

See it if you're looking for a glimpse into human connections; reads more like a play with music than a musical

Don't see it if you're looking for a traditional, plot driven, straightforward show

84
Absorbing, Enchanting, Relevant, Slow

See it if you are interested in a character-driven examination of people who stumble into each others lives by circumstance. Tony Shaloub is charming.

Don't see it if you need a show to be event-driven. This show really isn't compelled by plot; it is about these people, and what their interactions reveal.

74
Intelligent, Quirky, Slow

See it if You like adult romance with lots of conflict. You like drama set in recent history.

Don't see it if You want a fast pace or happy fluff. While it's not depressing per se, you're not going to leave with the warm fuzzies either.