The Band’s Visit, a quietly powerful one-act musical that opened off-Broadway last December and became one of the most acclaimed shows of the season, will re-open on Broadway this fall. Previews are set to begin October 7 at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre, with the official opening November 9. David Cromer will reprise as director.
Based on Eran Kolirin’s ingratiating 2007 Israeli film comedy, the show features the best score yet from David Yazbek (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Women On The Verge Of A Nervous Breakdown) and book by Itamar Moses (Completeness, Fortress of Solitude). It’s the story of the Alexandria Ceremonial Police Orchestra, a military band that has mistakenly arrived at a desolate town in the Negev desert and will have to remain overnight until a bus can take them away. The Egyptian musicians and the Israeli residents who warily offer them food and shelter bond as language barriers fall, skepticism subsides and intimate tales are shared.
“The Band’s Visit is an intimate musical that delights the ear and tugs at the soul,” I wrote in December, “a show in which little happens and everything changes, possibly even your world view.”
The original production, presented by the Atlantic Theater Company, starred Tony Shalhoub and Katrina Lenk, and while they are likely to return. the Broadway cast is not yet confirmed. Lenk currently is co-starring in Indecent, another Broadway transfer from off-Broadway.
The Band’s Visit earned raves across the critical spectrum, with many, including Deadline, hailing it as the best musical of the year. That judgment was affirmed by the New York Drama Critics Circle, the Obies and the Lucille Lortel Awards. It won’t be eligible for Tony nominations until it opens on Broadway.
The creative team includes Patrick McCollum (choreography), Scott Pask (set), Sarah Laux (costumes), Tyler Micoleau (lighting), Kai Harada (sound), Maya Ciarrocchi (projections), Jamshied Sharifi (orchestrations) and casting by Tara Rubin Casting. The producers are Orin Wolf, John Styles and John N. Hart Jr.