Musical adapted from Israeli film to hit Broadway

The off-Broadway run starred Tony Shalhoub, John Cariani and Katrina Lenk, who are not yet confirmed to return for the Broadway production.

May 25, 2017 18:42
1 minute read.
the bands visit

KATRINA LENK and Tony Shalhoub in the off-Broadway adaptation of 'The Band's Visit'. (photo credit: AHRON R. FOSTER)


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A 2007 award-winning Israeli film is going to hit the Broadway stage this fall.

The Band’s Visit will be arriving in the big leagues after a successful and critically- acclaimed run off-Broadway this winter.

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The plot follows an Egyptian police band that arrives in Israel to play a concert.

After a mix-up at the border, they are sent to a remote village in the middle of the desert. With nowhere to go, the unlikely guests are taken in by the locals, and “their lives become intertwined in the most unexpected ways.”

The acclaimed film, written and directed by Eran Kolirin, was adapted as a musical for the stage by playwright Itamar Moses and composer David Yazbek. The off-Broadway run starred Tony Shalhoub, John Cariani and Katrina Lenk, who are not yet confirmed to return for the Broadway staging. Director David Cromer will be returning for the move to Broadway.

The play will open in previews on Broadway on October 7, and have its official premiere on November 9.

During its two months on stage, the musical got rave reviews – and has been richly honored at awards ceremonies.

The New York Times said “there’s not a performance, or a sung note, that feels out of key. The music takes on a transcendent harmonic shimmer that stops the heart.” Variety said the show’s creators made “magic” while the Deadline website said it was the season’s best new musical, and the New York daily Newsday described it as “achingly wonderful.”

The show also won the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award for Best Musical, two Lucille Lortel Awards for Outstanding Musical and Outstanding Lead Actress in a Musical, two Obie Awards and a host of other honors.

The Band’s Visit will be following another hit play about Israel on Broadway – Oslo. That show, which also got its start off-Broadway, tells the story about the Norwegian couple behind the launch of the 1993 Israeli- Palestinian peace accords.

The play received seven Tony Award nominations, including for Best Play, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Director and more. Oslo, written by J.T. Rogers and directed by Bartlett Sher, will play on Broadway until mid-June, and then premiere in London in September.

And in the reverse of The Band’s Visit, Oslo is also slated to be adapted as a Hollywood film.

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