If, like me (#mortified), you missed The Band’s Visit—aka a “Best of the Year” pick by multiple media sources, including the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the Huffington Post—during its initial mini-run (12/8/16 to 1/8/17) at Off-Broadway’s Atlantic Theater, get ready for a second chance: it will be punching Broadway’s fall clock starting October 7th with an official opening date of November 9th.
The Band's Visit, photographed here at Off-Broadway's Atlantic Theater Co., is coming to Broadway's Ethel Barrymore Theatre. Photo: Ahron R. Foster.
Having already won a total of eight coveted theatrical awards (Lucille Lortels, Obies, Outer Critics, etc.) The Band’s Visit has also been nominated for seven Drama Desk Awards. After seeing the production, Ben Brantley of the Times enthused: “This is a place you want to visit if you’re looking for signs of new and exciting life in the contemporary American musical.”
This barrage of kudos made it one of an increasing number of Off-Broadway works to transfer to the Great White Way, in this case the Ethel Barrymore Theatre.
With a plot that parallels that of Come From Away—a Tony-nominated musical that also can be called a “critical darling”—The Band’s Visit centers on an Egyptian police band set to play a concert in Israel until, through a mix-up at the border, they wind up in a remote desert village where the locals take them in.
The show, based on the screenplay by Eran Kolirin, features an award-winning creative team including David Yazbek (music and lyrics), Itamar Moses (book), and David Cromer (direction).
To date no official cast members have been cited, but hopefully there will be a decent showing from the original run.