The Band’s Visit


83422-3Set in Israel, in 1996, a group of musicians from Egypt were invited to perform in the city of Petah Tikva. They get to the wrong place — the tiny desert town of Bet Hatikva. As the last bus of the day has left, they spend the night at the homes of the Israeli townspeople who take them in. Apparently, this happened. It’s a very sweet story.

“The Band’s Visit” is based on a screenplay by Eran Kolirin; book by Itamar Moses; music and lyrics by David Yazbek. It is directed by David Cromer and stars Tony Shalhoub. It runs until mid-December as Shalhoub can only perform until then. That said, he can easily be replaced in this role. Voices are wonderful, particularly that of Katrina Lenk.

Dale and I disagreed on this one. Please note that we saw the first preview. She thought it should be rewritten to include more personal stories of the relationships formed between the Israelis and the Egyptians. We agreed that 90 minutes was the right amount of time. I agreed with her about the story line, but thought what they did was just fine. I liked the music more than she did, but we agreed that the actors had great voices.

In the end, we agreed that if you’d like a lovely evening at the theatre, one where the story is happy, this is a fine choice.

Doug Anderson


One Response to “The Band’s Visit”

  1. Great review by Ben Brantley today in the New York Times:

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