'Band's Visit' to end its Broadway run

Musical based on Israeli film set to begin US tour - and could come to Israel.

February 5, 2019 12:10
2 minute read.
Sasson Gabay and Katrina Lenk in THE BAND'S VISIT, photo by Evan Zimmerman for MurphyMade 2018.

Sasson Gabay and Katrina Lenk in THE BAND'S VISIT, photo by Evan Zimmerman for MurphyMade 2018.. (photo credit: EVAN ZIMMERMAN)


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After a year and a half and a whopping 10 Tony Awards, The Band’s Visit will ends its run on Broadway this April.

The musical, an unlikely hit based on a 2007 Israeli film, got its start off-Broadway in 2016, before moving to the Ethel Barrymore Theater in November 2017. The show features an Egyptian police band that comes to Israel to perform in Petah Tikva and accidentally ends up stranded for the night in the fictional remote town of Beit Hatikva.

The show began its run with Tony Shalhoub (Monk, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel) as its co-star, but when he left, he was replaced with veteran Israeli actor Sasson Gabay, who originated the role in the 2007 film.

At the 2018 Tony Awards, The Band’s Visit took home 10 prizes, including best musical, best actor, best actress, best director and more. However, flagging ticket sales couldn’t keep the show on Broadway for much longer, even though it was able to recoup its $8.75 million capitalization in September.

While the show will be leaving Broadway, it isn’t done yet. Beginning in June the production will embark on a tour of the United States, and it could even make its way to Israel.

“We’re already deep into planning a big, beautiful, expansive tour,” producer Orin Wolf told Variety, “and we’re talking about several international productions in London, in Europe, and possibly in Israel and the Middle East.”

It was not immediately clear which cast members would be joining the production on tour.

“This is way too premature,” wrote Jewish actor Ari’el Stachel – who won a Tony for playing the role of Haled in the show – on Instagram after the news broke. “Thanks @thebandsvisit for helping a little Yemenite American boy feel okay about being himself.”

On Monday night, co-star Katrina Lenk, who won the best actress Tony for her role in the show, appeared on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon and performed the song “Omar Sharif” from the musical.

“All things must come to an end,” Lenk wrote on Instagram on Monday. “And holy hell – what a thrill and an honor to get to represent and celebrate the music of our show tonight!”

The original cast recording of the musical was nominated for a Grammy Award for best musical theater album. The winner will be announced at the ceremony this Sunday.

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