Welcome to Nowhere! In this delightfully offbeat story, set in a town that’s way off the beaten path, a band of musicians arrive lost, out of the blue. Under the spell of the desert sky, and with beautiful music scenting the air, the band brings the town to life in unexpected and tantalizing ways. Even the briefest visit can stay with you forever. With a score that seduces your soul and sweeps you off your feet, and featuring Tony-winning performances and terrifically talented onstage musicians, he Band’s Visit rejoices in the way music makes us laugh, makes us cry, and ultimately, brings us together.
The Band’s Visit Tickets:
“THE BEST MUSICAL ON BROADWAY! Beautiful music, beautiful story, beautiful acting.” – Peter Marks, The Washington Post.
“The uncanny virtuosity of Mr. Yazbek’s score feels as essential as oxygen!” – Ben Brantley, The New York Times.
The story of The Band’s Visit is a hilarious case of misunderstanding. As the show opens, the Alexandria Ceremonial Police Orchestra are waiting for their ride to the cultural concert in Petah Tikvah, Israel. Realizing there is no ride coming, Tewfiq reminds the band that they are under close scrutiny and sends Haled to purchase bus tickets. In the midst of his attempts to flirt with the ticket girl using his limited English, Haled confuses the destinations of “Petah Tikvah” and “Bet Hatikva,” buying tickets for the wrong destination. Welcome to nowhere! Bet Hatikva, Isreal is the fictional town where the band’s bus delivers them due to a language mix-up. Bet Hatikva’s inauspicious creation is described by Dina the café owner as pouring “cement on a spot in the desert.” The townspeople believe their dull and blasé town is “nowhere.” With no bus arriving till the following day The Band have no choice but to remain in Bet Hatikva for the night. The band members split up with Haled and Tewfiq heading to Dina’s house where Dina explains her life story and offers to show Tewfiq around the town. Simon and Camal are having a stilted, tense dinner at Itzik and Iris’s house on Iris’s birthday. So the story goes on with The Band members spread across the tiny town of Bet Hatikva and slowly getting to know the people and lives they have suddenly and unexpectedly arrived at.
The Band’s Visit features some unique middle eastern musical instruments. The Oud is a pear shaped stringed musical instrument that is one of the most popular in Middle Eastern music. The front of the instrument is flat and often intricately carved while the back of the instrument is rounded and covered with thin strips of wood. It is from these thin strips that the instrument is thought to derive its name from the Arabic word for “wood.” The oud is most commonly strung with 11 strings (10 of which are paired) stretched over its fretless neck to its peg box which is bent back at an angle. The Darbuka also called “doumbek” or “derbeki,” is a goblet-shaped drum with a distinctive sound popular in Middle Eastern music. Traditionally the Darbuka was made of clay with goat skin stretched over the top. The drum is usually played by placing the instrument on the knee and utilizing a variety of hand movements to produce a range of sounds in complex rhythms. There are many different varieties of this type of drum throughout the world.
The Band’s Visit was the 2018 Tony award winner for Best Musical! The Band’s Visit was the winner of 10 Tony Awards, making it one of the most Tony-winning musicals in history. It was also the 2019 Grammy Awards winner for Best Musical Theater Album. Its off-Broadway production won several major awards, including the 2017 Obie Award for Musical Theatre, as well the year’s New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award for Best Musical. At the 72nd Tony Awards, it was nominated for 11 awards and won 10, including Best Musical. The Band’s Visit is one of four musicals in Broadway history to win the unofficial “Big Six” Tony Awards, which include Best Musical, Best Book, Best Score, Best Actor in a Musical, Best Actress in a Musical, and Best Direction of a Musical. With music and lyrics by David Yazbek and a book by Itamar Moses, based on the 2007 Israeli film of the same name.
The Band’s Visit Broadway Reviews:
“One of the most ravishing musicals you will ever be seduced by. It is called “The Band’s Visit,” and its undeniable allure is not of the hard-charging, brightly blaring sort common to box-office extravaganzas. Instead, this portrait of a single night in a tiny Israeli desert town confirms a lyric that arrives, like nearly everything in this remarkable show, on a breath of reluctantly romantic hope: “Nothing is as beautiful as something you don’t expect.” With songs by David Yazbek and a script by Itamar Moses, “The Band’s Visit” is a Broadway rarity seldom found these days outside of the canon of Stephen Sondheim: an honest-to-God musical for grown-ups. It is not a work to be punctuated with rowdy cheers and foot-stomping ovations, despite the uncanny virtuosity of Mr. Yazbek’s benchmark score. That would stop the show, and you really don’t want that to happen. 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. All it asks is that you be quiet enough to hear the music in the murmurs, whispers and silences of human existence at its most mundane — and transcendent. And, oh yes, be willing to have your heart broken, at least a little. Because “The Band’s Visit,” which stars a magnificent Katrina Lenk and Tony Shalhoub as would-be lovers in a not-quite paradise, is like life in that way, too.”
– Ben Brantley, The New York Times.
“This show gave me more hope for what Broadway might welcome, might foster, might become, than any musical in a long time.”
– Sara Holdren, New York Magazine.