New York | 1h 30m | Already closed

The Band's Visit (Broadway)

From 62 critic and 1,973 member reviews
Members say: Absorbing, Great acting, Enchanting, Great singing, Slow

About the show

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.

1h 30m | Already closed | Ethel Barrymore Theatre (Midtown W)

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

New York Stage 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

The Observer

"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

Show Showdown

"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

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

New York Stage 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

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 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


"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

Musical Theater 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

The Washington Post

"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

Village Voice

“’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

Gay City News

“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

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

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


"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

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

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

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

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

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

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

New York Magazine / Vulture

"Cromer, Moses, and Yazbek are clearly unified in their pursuit of the specific and the humane over the grandiose...A play of deep integrity — funny, generous, sweet without sentimentality, poignant without melodrama, and emotionally expansive even as it insists upon its own smallness...'The Band’s Visit' is quietly modeling real theatrical and musical courage. Its sound—dense and atmospheric and drawn from a non-Western musical idiom—is utterly distinctive on Broadway." Full Review

Great acting, Relevant, Thought-provoking, Entertaining, Absorbing

See it if you want to see a well-crafted story about two cultures that find common ground and are able to assist one another in unlikely circumstances

Don't see it if you prefer a musical with comedy throughout, and not a reality-based plot with light-hearted moments in it; if you expect a full resolution.

Also The band of the show's title played well and entertained the audience ... Read more Read less

Intelligent, Great writing, Great singing, Great acting, Enchanting

See it if your definition of a great musical is one where a specific story is clearly told with beautiful music. This is a master class.

Don't see it if you want musicals with splashy special effects or where things, like, happen.

Absorbing, Delightful, Entertaining, Must see

See it if I loved it. Saw it off broadway, then on boardway and would see it again

Don't see it if you don't care about different religious group getting along

Absorbing, Funny, Great acting, Great staging, Resonant

See it if you're looking for a unique experience. I've never seen a show like the Band's Visit before. The music and the set design is breathtaking.

Don't see it if you're looking to see a traditional musical. This show doesn't have any huge dance numbers and does not have the feel of a typical musical.

Clever, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Great writing, Enchanting

See it if you enjoy understated stories of humanity.

Don't see it if if you are looking for epic showstopping numbers.

Absorbing, Enchanting, Entertaining, Great acting, Intelligent

See it if If you wNt to be entertained by a wonderful story with exceptional music and acting. It will be one of your favorite musicals ever.

Don't see it if If you don’t like musicals, don’t see this or if you prefer the traditional happy ending musical, this one’s not it.

Entertaining, Exquisite, Edgy, Great acting, Intelligent

See it if you like great staging and story

Don't see it if if you dont like great staging and story

Absorbing, Exquisite, Great staging, Great writing, Intelligent

See it if This show is a must see. Brilliant all around. Just remember that there is no intermission. Go to the loo before.

Don't see it if Don't see this if you don't like David Yasbeck or humanity.

Absorbing, Enchanting, Intelligent, Intense, Romantic

See it if you're looking for an out-of-the-box broadway experience - i.e. theater as it's meant to be seen and stories told. Absolutely stunning.

Don't see it if you only want big blockbuster fluff. This is a small, intimate, personal story that requires your undivided attention-let it wash over you.

Absorbing, Enchanting, Exquisite, Great acting, Great staging

See it if You want to see the best musical on Broadway.

Don't see it if You’re only into schlock.

Absorbing, Riveting, Refreshing, Profound, Masterful

See it if You are looking for something short simple and truly powerful. This show is so moving and its beauty is in its simplicity.

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

Absorbing, Heart renching, Exquisite, Great acting, Must see

See it if you enjoy quiet, slice of life, character driven shows which leave you with a hopeful sense of promise.

Don't see it if you like flashy musicals, and need a lot of plot to get you through a show.

Relevant, Refreshing, Profound, Thought-provoking, Masterful

See it if you have the chance. It’s beautiful, it’s masterful, and some of the most incredible theatre you’ll ever see.

Don't see it if there’s no reason not to. I’ve heard some say it’s slow with a lot of dialogue, but it’s one act and riveting all the way through.

Absorbing, Clever, Great acting

See it if Very unusual for a musical .. nt your toe tapping musical.. intricate and absorbing

Don't see it if you like traditional musicals

Masterful, Intelligent, Slow, Thought-provoking, Resonant

See it if You like arthouse indie movies or foreign films--things that are built of small moments of quiet and human connection.

Don't see it if You're looking for a typical Broadway spectacle, or if you're looking for major catharsis or resolution--this show stays understated.

Absorbing, Enchanting, Great writing, Masterful, Must see

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

Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Masterful, Thought-provoking

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.

Absorbing, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if You enjoy clever acting and wonderful music. I wanted to jump up and dance.

Don't see it if You don't like a more simplistic staging and great music.

Absorbing, Great acting, Masterful, Must see, Profound

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.

Absorbing, Great acting, Enchanting, Great staging, Great singing

See it if You want something different to transport you to fantasy land.

Don't see it if If you are under 9 years of age. Another then that don't miss it.

Also This show lives up to the 12 plus Tony awards. The set, actors, script... Read more Read less

Exquisite, Great staging, Great acting, Great singing, Relevant

See it if you want a great story with great direction and great acting. This is a beautiful, perfect show.

Don't see it if you want a big, splashy, Broadway musical.

Also This is the first show I've given a 100. This show is brilliant. The d... Read more Read less

Enchanting, Entertaining, Funny

See it if you love heart-touching, humorous stories and beautiful, exotic songs!

Don't see it if you dislike Arabs, Israelis or anyone who doesn't fit stereotypes.

Absorbing, Exquisite, Intelligent, Masterful, Relevant

See it if Exceptional music and vocal, acting, intertwined themes and characters, staging which helps make the show. World-wise, life relevant. Beauty

Don't see it if You have a prejudiced heart.

Absorbing, Enchanting, Exquisite, Great acting, Great writing

See it if Just see it.

Don't see it if You have squirrely children with you.

Also This is one of the few shows that made me weep with joy. It is an exqu... Read more Read less

Great acting, Exquisite, Enchanting, Clever

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.

Cast & Creatives (16)